Amer Othman Adi, a beloved Youngstown businessman, husband and father of four today sits in a northeast Ohio jail, awaiting deportation. On Tuesday, activists will rally before the State of the Union to call attention to Amer’s plight and to an immigration enforcement system that has gotten out of control under Trump.

Adi’s case has been going on for years. The owner of several Youngstown businesses, Adi came to the U.S. in 1979 on a visa, married an American citizen and received a green card. After a two year marriage, Adi divorced and later remarried, but lost his green card when immigration officials questioned the legitimacy of his first marriage.

Congressman Tim Ryan embraces Amer Adi at a pre-deportation event.

After years of back and forth, Adi was ordered deported in 2013, but Congressman Tim Ryan utilized a procedure known as a “private bill” in which a Member of Congress can secure an individual’s right to stay while their cases are resolved. In 2017, things changed. ICE, according to Ryan, would no longer honor private bills. It’s just one of many ways in which this administration has radically changed the norms around immigration enforcement and deportation.

Adi is now in custody awaiting deportation. Despite plans to depart voluntarily for Jordan along with his wife, he was jailed unexpectedly earlier this month at a scheduled check-in. His family is devastated. In addition to the assistance of Congressman Ryan, Adi’s case has earned the support from Youngstown’s Tracey Winbush, a top Republican party official, as well as two gubernatorial candidates: State Senator Joe Schiavoni and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

On Tuesday evening, activists will hold a “State of the Union Rally for Dignity” to denounce the Trump administration’s year of actions against families like Adi’s, and the lack of progress toward policies to protect immigrants. Organized by the InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia, the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, and others, the rally starts at 5:30 p.m. in Cleveland’s Market Square. More information can be found at

Thanks to Ethan Goodman of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus for letting us know about this important demonstration.