Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Amer “Al” Adi Othman is with his 90-year-old mother again in Jordan. But he had to leave his wife and daughters behind.
“I was so happy to come to Jordan to see my mother, to see my family and to see everyone,” Adi said in a video sent to The Vindicator, in which he responded to the newspaper’s questions. “It was emotionally incredible. I was very happy but at the same time I was very sad.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Adi, a well-known downtown businessman, on Monday after detaining him for nearly two weeks.
Adi’s wife of 29 years, Fidaa Musleh, and daughters worried all day Monday when they didn’t hear from him. But that night, Adi was able to call them and say he was on his way to Jordan from Chicago.
“Nobody can really find the words to explain those feelings when you leave your family behind you and you can’t even say goodbye to them,” Adi said. “I don’t wish that to anybody in this world. It’s very devastating. It broke my heart.”
Adi was greeted by his mother, Fayzeh Othman, family and friends when he arrived in Jordan.
Adi, 57, had left Jordan for the U.S. when he was 19. A statement that his first marriage in 1980 was a fraud is what led to his deportation even though his first wife later recanted and said the marriage was real.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, sponsored a private bill that protected immigrants, but under President Donald Trump’s administration private bills could no longer protect immigrants facing deportation.
Adi was set to leave for Jordan on Jan. 7, but after telling his story, ICE told him not to leave and to meet with the agency on Jan. 16 in Cleveland. That’s when Adi was taken into custody, which shocked his family, attorney and Ryan — who came with him to the meeting.
Read more of the case in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.