Ohio man deported to Jordan after 39 years in U.S.: ‘There was no justification at all’
Amer Adi Othman was deported from the United States after living in the country for 39 years.
Othman, a business owner in Ohio whose wife and daughters are all U.S. citizens, was forced to go back to Jordan after spending two weeks in custody.
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His daughter, Haneen Adi, told CBS News that he was arrested on Jan. 16 during what immigration officials said would be a check-in meeting.
Among them was Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who was outspoken in his support for Othman.
“It is a sad day for Amer, his family, and entire community,” a statement from Ryanreleased on Jan. 29 read.
“Amer Othman was ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over 30 years.”
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The congressman added that the small business owner was an asset to his community of Youngstown, where he hired local workers, paid taxes and “did everything right.”
“I am sad that America, and the American Presidency has become a place where politics outweighs doing what is right,” he wrote.
Othman’s legal battle
Othman was born in Jordan to Palestinian parents, according to Al Jazeera. He arrived in the U.S. at age 19, married soon after and later received permanent status and a Green Card.
His now ex-wife later claimed the marriage was fake, and while she recanted the statement, it left Othman under a deportation order.
According to CBS News, he spent years trying to acquire citizenship in the country.
“My entire life has been lawyer after lawyer, ICE meeting after ICE meeting,” his daughter said. “He’s tried every single thing. They made it almost impossible for him.”
Arrival in Jordan
Othman was greeted by his 94-year-old mother and extended family upon arrival in Jordan, CNN reported.
He broke down into his mother’s arms, later saying: “I have mixed feelings, very mixed feelings. I’m so happy, so glad to be here, my home, to see my mother, my brother, my family, my friends, that makes me proud and happy. At the same time, I feel so sad of what happened to me.”
The two hadn’t met in 20 years.
His siblings, nephews and nieces, many also in tears, welcomed him to the country.
Cases of immigration arrests spiking
Cases of immigration-related arrests have increased by 42 per cent since Trump took office, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30, 2017, the agency arrested nearly 111,000 people.
The 2017 deportations were lower than at any time during the Obama administration. One reason for the decrease in deportations was that fewer people appeared to be trying to cross U.S. borders illegally.
— With files from Reuters