A Massachusetts man who’s worked at a pizzeria for more than 20 years could be deported to Greece because of exaggerated claims made on his visa application about his skills to toss dough.
Eleutherios Spirou’s bosses at Copeland Pizza in Quincy filed the visa on his behalf, stating in the paperwork that one of his special skills is “showmanship in preparation of food, such as tossing pizza dough in the air to lighten texture,” the Boston Herald reported.
But Mr. Spirou admitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that his dough-throwing skills aren’t actually that great — and his application was subsequently rejected. He appealed in court, but U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper upheld the deportation order.
“Basically, immigration said, ‘This guy can’t throw pizza, so we’re denying him the visa,” Desmond Fitzgerald, the lawyer for Copeland Pizza, told the Herald. “The court said our description really didn’t show any showmanship in any way, so they upheld the decision of immigration. I’m very surprised. I thought we were in a good position.”
Mr. Spirou and his employers can still appeal that ruling, but at least one immigration attorney said the chances for a reversal aren’t great.
“The law requires you to look at any U.S. worker who is even minimally qualified to do the job,” attorney Roy Watson told the Herald. “That’s not flipping pizzas. This wasn’t a winnable case.”