Youngstown business owner remains jailed

YOUNGSTOWN — The joy of a stay of deportation for downtown businessman Amer “Al” Othman Adi was short-lived as he has been transferred to another detention facility instead of being releaed from the Geauga County Jail, according to his family.

Adi was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Tuesday during what was supposed to be a routine deportation hearing in Cleveland. Thursday night, members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to request a report from ICE about its handling of Adi’s case. That prompted the feds to grant a six-month stay in his scheduled deportation.

Adi’s wife, Fidaa Musleh Adi, said her husband was not being released, as they had hoped, but instead was moved to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.

This comes after U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, said he was hopeful that Adi would be released soon. He’s sponsoring a bill that he hoped would give Adi citizenship.

Adi is the owner of the Downtown Circle Convenience Store and Deli and has been in the United States for 39 years. Immigration officials determined that his marriage to a woman in 1980 was a “sham” based on a signed affidavit from the woman saying she married Adi to help him stay in the United States, according to court documents. The woman later recanted her statement.

Court records also indicate that Adi abandoned his lawful permanent residence status, which was granted during his marriage to his first wife, by moving to Brazil with his current wife, Fidaa, in 1988 and remaining outside the United States until they returned in 1992. Two years after their return, Fidaa filed the first of three unsuccessful petitions for permanent residence on Adi’s behalf.

Adi has filed several appeals in the case and has been fighting deportation in the United States District Court of Appeals.

Since his arrest Tuesday, Adi, 57, has been on a hunger strike, refusing to eat or drink anything, his wife said.

It is unknown if Adi will be released or be deported.

Tribune Chronicle news partner WKBN-27 contributed to this report.

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