YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio businessman who has called the United States home for 38 years and was scheduled to be deported to his native Jordan has received a stay while his case is re-examined.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan announced Thursday that 57-year-old Amer Othman’s deportation that had been set for Sunday has been postponed. The Democratic representative said that after working with Othman’s attorney and the House judiciary committee, a decision was reached to grant a stay of deportation. Ryan’s statement said he will continue to fight for Othman to remain in Youngstown.
Cleveland.com reports that Othman said he was “so happy” after receiving a call from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the stay. Othman, known as Al Adi, told The Vindicator in Youngstown that he was told the deportation would not take place Sunday, and he will know more details after checking in with immigration officials later this week.
He told the Youngstown newspaper that he was able to stay thanks to the support of the community and the work of Ryan, as well as his lawyer and his family. He said he was “overwhelmed by the support.”
Othman had been set to depart Youngstown on Sunday with his wife, leaving his four adult daughters behind.
He came to the U.S. when he was 19 and obtained his green card through his first wife. Othman’s application for a second green card was denied in the 1990s when officials claimed his first marriage was fraudulent.
However, a court affidavit shows his ex-wife claimed she signed the original statement claiming a fraudulent marriage under duress when Immigration and Naturalization Service officials came to her home.
Othman continued to fight for a green card, and Ryan attempted to prevent the man’s deportation through a private bill. That attempt failed after Republican President Donald Trump’s administration decided deportations could no longer be delayed due to a private bill.
“This is my town and my country, and I am a U.S. citizen even though Trump says no,” Othman had told The Vindicator earlier.
Othman opened a deli in Youngstown in 2011 and a hookah bar in 2015. Democratic Mayor Jamael “Tito” Brown called Othman’s deportation a loss for the city, saying he was a “pioneer for the downtown renaissance.”
Othman says he has no criminal record.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had acknowledged Othman’s lengthy immigration case in a statement to The Vindicator. ICE officials said courts have “uniformly held” that Othman has no legal basis to remain in the country.
His attorney, David Leopold, told Cleveland.com Thursday that the stay does not mean that the fight is over, but it is a definite step in the right direction.
“I’m gratified they are taking a close look at the case,” Leopold said. “The guy is an asset to the community. There was a tremendous outpouring of support from all over, including the Youngstown mayor and a congressman.”