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ICE Decides to Deport Youngstown Businessman Amer Adi Despite a Congressional Request for a Stay

Amer Othman Adi at his place of business in Youngstown
Congressman Tim Ryan's office


Immigration officials have decided to deport a Youngstown businessman despite a request from the chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that his case be re-reviewed and his deportation stayed.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced this afternoon that it is going ahead with the forced removal of Amer Adi Othman. It says its policy is not to reveal when or how deportees leave.

Adi’s lawyer, David Leopold, notes that Adi had been planning to leave for Jordan with his wife on Jan. 7, after ICE ordered him out of the country. But the agency asked him to postpone that trip. Then, on Jan. 16, it reversed course and took him into custody.

“And why, then, they would lock him up so that they can deport him in a cruel, humiliating a dehumanizing way is beyond me. I’ve seen cruel. I’ve seen really cruel. And now I’ve seen the case of Amer Adi.”

Adi has lived in the U.S. since 1979, and is credited with starting the rebirth of downtown Youngstown. Congressman Tim Ryan had been fighting his deportation since 2013 and says he’ll continue to challenge it. ICE says Adi’s first marriage in 1980 was a sham, and that hsi case has had a full review.

Here is the statement from ICE on its decision:

After conducting a comprehensive review of Mr. Othman’s case, including careful consideration of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s request for an investigative report, ICE has chosen not to grant a stay of removal in his case.

Over the last decade, Mr. Othman’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive judicial review at multiple levels of the nation’s courts, including before the immigration courts, federal appeals courts and U.S. district court. In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Othman does not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S. As such, Mr. Othman will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States. Due to operational security concerns, ICE does not confirm specific removal arrangements prior to an individual’s successful repatriation.

While ICE acknowledges Congress’s authority to pass legislation providing immigration benefits to non-citizens, alien beneficiaries need not be present in the United States for a private immigration relief bill to be introduced, considered, and/or enacted.  An alien who is granted relief through the enactment of a private immigration bill can lawfully travel back to the United States.

As ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.