Congressman Tim Ryan leaves SOTU seat vacant to honor deported Youngstown man

Congressman Tim Ryan leaves SOTU seat vacant to honor deported Youngstown man
Amer Othman (Source: WKBN)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In response to the deportation of Youngstown businessman Amer Adi, Congressman Tim Ryan left his guest seat to tonight's State of the Union Speech empty.

Adi was deported back to his native Jordan last night, after living in the U.S. for the past 39 years. He was the owner of a convenience store in Youngstown, and has a wife and children that are U.S. citizens.

In a statement, Congressman Ryan said:

"This evening, when the President of the United States walks into the House Chamber to deliver his first State of the Union Address, there will be at least one vacant seat because of the President's own actions. Amer Othman was a pillar of the Youngstown community. He started a business downtown, employed members of our community, paid his taxes, and raised a beautiful family—all in the Mahoning Valley. Today, he no longer resides in the country he's called home for 39 years because the Trump Administration decided to target upstanding individuals – Americans in every sense of the word – instead of violent criminals who actually pose a threat. President Trump must realize that when his words become public policy in places like Youngstown, families like Amer's are ripped apart. That is why my guest seat at the State of the Union will remain empty—in honor of Amer and all those people being heartlessly targeted by the Trump Administration. I'm sad that America, and the Office of the President, has become a place where the politics of fear outweigh doing what is right. Amer deserves to be at the State of the Union this evening, representing himself and so many others like him, to show President Trump and Congressional Republicans that the United States is his home. Instead his seat remains empty."

Adi was arrested and jailed on Jan. 16 at an immigration status hearing. While in jail, he was on a hunger strike, not eating until he felt justice was served.

Adi's application for a second green card was denied in the 90s when officials claimed his first marriage was fraudulent.

Court documents show his first wife filed an affidavit in 2007 saying she signed the original statement claiming fraud under duress.

He cannot return to the U.S. for at least 10 years.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.