YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) – A businessman who lived in the U.S. for 38 years will be deported back to his native Jordan Sunday.
Amer Othman will depart Youngstown with his wife, leaving his four adult daughters behind, according to The (Youngstown) Vindicator. The 57-year-old known as Al Adi said he still believes he belongs in the U.S.
“This is my town and my country, and I am a U.S. citizen even though Trump says no,” Othman said.
He came to the U.S. when he was 19 and obtained his green card through his first wife. Othman’s application for a second green card was denied in the 1990s when officials claimed his first marriage was fraudulent.
However, a court affidavit shows his ex-wife claimed she signed the original statement claiming a fraudulent marriage under duress when Immigration and Naturalization Service officials came to her home.
Othman continued to fight for a green card, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan attempted to prevent the man’s deportation through a private bill. That attempt failed after President Donald Trump’s administration decided deportations could no longer be delayed due to a private bill.
Othman opened a deli in the city in 2011 and a hookah bar in 2015. Democratic Mayor Jamael “Tito” Brown called Othman’s deportation a loss for the city, saying he was a “pioneer for the downtown renaissance.”
Othman said a manager will run his businesses while he is away.
Ryan said Othman’s deportation speaks to a larger need for immigration reform.
“(His business) contributed to the comeback of downtown Youngstown,” Ryan told the newspaper. “And that’s not even being recognized now.”
Othman says he has no criminal record.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acknowledged Othman’s lengthy immigration case in a statement to The Vindicator. ICE officials said courts have “uniformly held” that Othman has no legal basis to remain in the country.