Weeks of confusion and inconsistencies from immigration officials ended on Monday after authorities deported a Palestinian man who had been living in the U.S. for nearly 40 years.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement had kept Amer Othman Adi, 57, in detention for two weeks, ignoring a House Judiciary Committee request that the Department of Homeland Security review his case, which would have allowed him to temporarily remain in the U.S.
“In a highly irregular rebuke of Congressional authority by ICE, Amer Othman was ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over thirty years,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who had been fighting his deportation, said in a statement. “Amer was a pillar of the community and brought commerce to a downtown that craved investment. He hired members of our community. He paid taxes. He did everything right. There are violent criminals walking the streets, yet our government wasted our precious resources incarcerating him.”
Othman Adi, who arrived in the U.S. 39 years ago and whose wife and three daughters are all U.S. citizens, had his green card revoked after authorities accused him of marriage fraud. He was never granted a day in court to fight the charge, despite his ex-wife signing an affidavit confirming that the marriage was indeed legitimate and claiming that authorities had pressured her to previously say the marriage had been fake. He and his current wife, Fidaa Musleh, have been fighting the charge for years without success.
Facing a deport order since 2009, he was spared under President Barack Obama’s administration, thanks to a “private bill” passed in the House of Representatives.
President Donald Trump did away with that provision, and in September, Othman Adi attended what he thought was a regular ICE check-in meeting. Instead, agents placed an ankle bracelet on him and told him he had until Jan. 7 to exit the country. He and his wife sold their house in Youngstown, Ohio, and purchased plane tickets to Amman, Jordan ― where he is a citizen. Early this year, he was told that the deportation had been called off.
When he showed up for another routine ICE meeting on Jan. 16, he was detained with zero explanation and placed in jail.
While I don’t overly care for the whole idea of a private bill to deal with any specific situation, the fact that this man would be deported at all is completely ridiculous. I mean, when the House Judiciary Committee attempts to intervene and ICE doesn’t care one bit, that’s a sign that we are dealing with an agency that considers itself those who decide what is lawful unilaterally, a dangerous precedent for any law enforcement agency.
Meanwhile, some Trump voters are amazed that Trump is doing precisely what he said he would do and that bothers them. I don’t know, maybe don’t vote for the guy who makes you feel good for being white? We will see if people who watch Trump and his fascist shock troops at ICE destroy their communities start resisting him. Color me skeptical.