Fight against immigrants is fight against U.S., deported Youngstown man writes


YOUNGSTOWN

Amer “Al” Adi Othman has not forgotten Youngstown.

A year has passed since Adi had a high profile battle with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials that ended with his deportation to Jordan.

Adi, the former owner of Downtown Circle Convenience and Deli and Circle Hookah downtown, has been in Amman ever since.

Thursday, his daughter, Lina Adi, sent a letter from her father to local media. In it, Adi speaks to the local community and to U.S. citizens at large.

“It’s hard to believe it has been one year since I was deported from the United States. On Jan. 29, 2018, I was taken out of my cell early in the morning, driven from Youngstown to Cleveland, where I stayed in another cell at the ICE headquarters for three hours. From there they took me to the Cleveland airport on a flight to Chicago and from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, after almost 40 years of being in the United States of America,” Adi wrote. “The question that remains is why was I deported? Why did this happen to me? And why does it continue to happen to so many immigrants?”

In the year since Adi’s deportation, immigration has persisted as a central issue for the administration of President Donald Trump.

Deportations have increased 13 percent since 2017.

In December alone, two children died in U.S. Border Patrol custody and the U.S. government was subject to the longest shutdown in American history over the funding of the Trump administration’s proposed $5 billion border wall.

“Whenever I hear people talking about immigration as a problem, I am confused. Immigrants are what make up the United States of America. From Donald Trump himself, to his wife, to everyone who holds an American passport, somewhere down the line, your existence here in this country originated from an immigrant. Unless you are Native American. Therefore, to be against immigrants is essentially to be against what the United States really is. To be against immigrants is to be against the United States,” Adi wrote.

Read more of his remarks in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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