Eleutherios Spirou has worked at Copeland Pizza in Quincy for more than 20 years and owners Stergios and Despina Versamis filed for a visa on his behalf.
In the application, it was stated that Spirou had the special skill of being able to display "showmanship in preparation of food, such as tossing pizza dough in the air to lighten texture."
After the filing, Spirou admitted that his dough-tossing skills had been exaggerated in the application and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected his visa.
They appealed the ruling, but U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper upheld the decision because Spirou does not actually display any "showmanship" while performing his duties.
"Basically, immigration said, 'This guy can't throw pizza, so we're denying him the visa,'" Desmond Fitzgerald, Copeland Pizza's lawyer, told the Boston 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."
Copeland can appeal the ruling, but if they lose, immigration officials can begin the process of deporting Spirou.
An immigration attorney who is not involved in the case, Roy Watson, doesn't like Spirou's chances.
"The law requires you to look at any U.S. worker who is even minimally qualified to do the job," Watson said. "That's not flipping pizzas. This wasn't a winnable case."
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