YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WOIO) - Nearly two weeks after being granted a stay, Amer Othman of Youngstown, was taken into custody by immigration officials at the Cleveland ICE office.
Joined by Congressman Tim Ryan, attorney David Leopold and his wife, the 57-year-old showed up for a hearing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Brooklyn Heights.
Tuesday's detention came as a surprise.
"This is a man who has played by the rules ever since he arrived in the United States. In the last several years, he has jumped through every hoop that ICE asked him to jump through. He came voluntarily to the ICE office today, accompanied by Rep. Ryan and myself, for what was supposed to be a routine check-in, only to be thrown into a jail cell and told he would be deported by force. It is important to remember that Mr. Adi was set to leave the U.S. with his wife two weeks ago. He had bought a ticket and made arrangements to voluntarily meet ICE at the airport. ICE then cancelled the deportation – that they would today take him into custody is beyond baffling. I can only conclude that it is a brazen show of cruelty and an attempt to dehumanize and humiliate my client Mr. Adi," said Attorney Leopold.
Othman, who has called the U.S. home for 38 years, was scheduled to be deported to Jordan earlier this month.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan had been working to stop Othman's deportation through a private bill that he says President Donald Trump's administration ignored.
Ryan says Othman's convenience store and hookah bar helped revitalize Youngstown. The congressman has vowed to keep looking for ways to keep Othman in the U.S.
Othman says his application for a second green card was denied in the 1990s when officials claimed his first marriage was fraudulent. Court documents show Othman's first wife filed an affidavit in 2007 saying she signed the original statement claiming fraud under duress.
If Othman is forced to leave, his four adult daughters will remain in the U.S.