The owners of a bakery in Florida have shuttered their business and face deportation after nearly a decade of serving German pastries.
Detlef and Marina Raddant, owners of the German Baker Boy Bakery in St. Pete Beach, Fla., have emptied their shelves and turned off their ovens after a special E-2 business visa that allowed them to permanently move to the United States was cancelled, MyFoxTampa.com reported Tuesday.
The visa automatically expired 10 years after the couple moved to the U.S. from their native Berlin. Attempts to renew the visas in Germany in the beginning of the month were unsuccessful because the U.S. vice-consul in Frankfurt informed them their visas would instead be cancelled.
The U.S. vice-consul cited that the couple had not hired enough American employees for their business as the reasoning behind the cancellation, a requirement for this type of visa.
"I was fainting," Marina told MyFOXTampa.com, describing the moment she heard the bad news. "So they had to call the paramedics and the doctor into the embassy. We have friends here, we have our house here, our whole life is here, so I call the place home."
Now, because the couple is in the United States with tourists visas, they are no longer allowed to operate their business.
Republican legislator C.W. Bill Young told MyFOXTampa.com that he had called the United States ambassador in Germany Tuesday morning and explained the details of the case.
He has also contacted the American legal counsel in Germany.