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Cleveland, OH – In the Sunday paper, the Youngstown Vindicator published an editorial against the pending deportation of a downtown businessman, Amer Adi Othman. After decades in the U.S., Adi was schedule to be deported on January 7, 2018. Due to the unwavering support of Rep. Tim Ryan and a bipartisan group of local leaders, Adi’s deportation was temporarily paused, but his future is uncertain.
In one respect, it’s a story that warms the cockles of the heart – in the midst of arctic temperatures engulfing the Mahoning Valley.
But in another, it’s a commentary on the flawed immigration system that has put the lives of hundreds of thousands of people residing in this country in jeopardy.
Adi’s contributions to Youngstown are well-known, as is his decades-long battle to obtain legal residency in the United States. Michael Sangiacomo of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Adi has operated numerous businesses in downtown Youngstown for more than 30 years, employing hundreds of people. Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown called Adi’s opening the Downtown Circle Convenience store “the catalyst” that sparked a renaissance in the blighted downtown 10 years ago.
The Vindicator editorial continues:
There were tears of sorrow Tuesday when Adi, the target of ICE’s deportation order, talked to The Vindicator about being forced to leave the country he has called home for four decades.
And there were tears of joy Thursday when he found out from Congressman Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, that his departure had been stayed temporarily.
Ryan worked with Adi’s lawyer, David Leopold of Cleveland; Mahoning County Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Tracey Winbush; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and the House Judiciary Committee to stop the deportation.
The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation and Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel are also backing Adi.
As the Vindicator suggests, deporting Adi would be contrary to some of Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign, when he promised to go after “bad hombres.” Still, the Trump Administration has already violated that repeatedly, refocusing deportations on tax-paying immigrants taking care of American children (see the cases of Ohioans Maribel Trujillo,Beatriz Casillas, Jesus Lara, and Pedro Ramirez for just a few examples).
Right now, the Detroit Field office – which has jurisdiction over deportations in Ohio and Michigan – is relentlessly trying to deport Yancarlos Mendez, one of only two trained caregivers to a six year-old American child. The young boy became paraplegic after a car accident in 2017.
According to David Leopold, Amer Adi’s lawyer:
Amer Adi embodies all the values we think of when we think of immigrants who’ve made America great. He’s a great dad to his four daughters, a wonderful, loving husband of 30 years to his wife Fideh, and an outstanding businessman who’s created jobs and helped fuel the revitalization of his adopted hometown, Youngstown, Ohio. It’s difficult to imagine how deporting Amer serves any rational immigration policy goal. The good news is the solution is simple. The Department of Homeland Security can do the right thing by Amer and his family by canceling his deportation and permitting his wife and life-partner Fideh to sponsor him for a green card.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of America’s Voice Ohio:
When he was running for president, Trump pledged to deport ‘bad hombres,’ but in reality he’s focusing on the easiest targets available. Amer Adi is a local leader, employing Americans and building up the community. Yancarlos Mendez, and the numerous other immigrants the Detroit Field Office of ICE has already deported, are also filling critical roles.
They are paying taxes, working hard, and caring for children who need them. Rebecca Adducci, the head of ICE in Detroit, is deporting taxpayers and presiding over the systematic dismantling of united families, with no consideration for those left behind.