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Protests Break Out In Youngstown Over ICE Decision To Detain Businessman

Rep. Tim Ryan

A Youngstown businessman facing deportation remains in prison and on a hunger strike, three days after Congressional action was expected to at least temporarily free him. Amer Othman’s Adi case led to a weekend of protests in Youngstown.

The protests were organized as word spread that Adi had been transferred to the private federal prison in Youngstown on Friday, while his family was awaiting his release at the Geauga County jail.  

Adi’s family had expected him to be freed after a House Judiciary subcommittee – which is considering a bill from Rep. Tim Ryan to give Adi permanent residence – had asked the Department of Homeland Security to review the case and grant him a six-month stay of deportation.

Adi’s wife of 29 years, Fidaa Musleh, spoke at Saturday’s rally in downtown Youngstown.

“We’re not going to give up, of course not,” Musleh.

Yesterday, the Council on American Islamic Relations rallied for two hours outside the Northeast Ohio Correctional Institution, where Adi is being held. Gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich joined the protest.

#FreeAmerNow! http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/01/youngstown_man_spared_deportat.html A post shared by Dennis (@dennis.kucinich) on Jan 21, 2018 at 5:59pm PST

Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the Youngstown Vindicator that it’s reviewing the congressional order. ICE also said it has the authority to deport someone – even if the action has been stayed – if it has evidence that the person “in its judgment warrants immediate removal.”

Immigration officials maintain Adi’s first marriage was a sham so he could get a green card. The 57-year-old owner of the Downtown Circle Convenience store had been fighting deportation for decades. He was taken into custody by ICE earlier this month, less than two weeks after being granted a temporary stay.

Both Democratic and Republican politicians have criticized ICE’s handling of the case, with Ryan slamming officials for making “a spectacle out of it.”

“If this is how we treat people May God have mercy on our Souls,” said Tracey Winbush, a Trump supporter and vice chair of the Mahoning County GOP.