Immigration officials have decided to deport a Youngstown businessman despite a request from the chair of the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee 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 Othman Adi. 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 January 7, after ICE ordered him out of the country. But the agency asked him to postpone that trip. Then, on January 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,” Leopold says. “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. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who introduced a private bill in the U.S. House to stay the deportation, had been fighting for Adi since 2013 and says he’ll continue to challenge the decision. ICE says Adi’s first marriage in 1980 was a sham, and that his case has had a full review.
Adi has been holding a hunger strike since he was detained eight days ago. He’s currently been held at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a private prison in Youngstown. A candelight vigil for Adi is planned for Thursday night, and another protest was planned for Friday.
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.