Feds mum on when Adi will be deported


YOUNGSTOWN

As Amer “Al” Adi sits in a cell in Geauga County jail on a hunger strike, the timeline for when he will be deported back to his native country of Jordan remains up in the air.

His wife, Fidaa Musleh, and four daughters wait with uncertainty.

“The whole situation is not just,” Musleh said.

Adi was taken into custody Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Cleveland during what was thought would be a routine meeting. He was to be deported Jan. 7 and had purchased a ticket to go back to Jordan after living in the U.S. for nearly 40 years. But Adi received a stay from ICE and was told to go to the Cleveland ICE office Tuesday. There, he was immediately taken into custody.

“For operational security reasons, the agency does not discuss specific removal arrangements prior to an individual’s successful repatriation,” an ICE spokesman said in a statement sent to The Vindicator on Wednesday after the newspaper requested information on when Adi would be deported.

The Vindicator has followed the case since Adi came forward to tell his story earlier this month and this week reviewed available court documents.

“I will tell you, although the government will say it’s been up and down through the courts, no judge ever anywhere has ever found in open court that [Adi] did anything wrong,” said David Leopold, Adi’s attorney, on Tuesday. “He has never had the chance to cross-examine witnesses. He has never had the chance to question the government’s evidence before a judge. No jury, no judge, no independent tribunal has ever looked at this case and said, ‘Oh yeah, there was a fraudulent marriage 30, 40 years ago.’”

HOLA Ohio, an organization that works to empower Latinos through community organizing, advocacy and civic engagement, has organized a group meeting for citizens outraged by the treatment of Adi. The meeting will take place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Flambeau’s, 2308 Market St., Youngstown.

Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past helped set up the meeting.

Read more about the case in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com, where the court documents also will be available.

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