YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Local leaders are getting involved in a downtown Youngstown business owner’s fight to stay in the U.S.
Amer Adi Othman, also known as “Al,” is being forced to leave the country he’s called home for nearly two decades. On Sunday, he’s heading back to his native Jordan with no clear path of ever returning.
“We want to thank Al for everything he’s done to help revitalize the City of Youngstown. The investments he’s made, the countless number of people he’s employed. People just want to thank Al,” said Christopher Anderson, with Mahoning County Young Democrats.
That appreciation goes from the street to city hall.
“We appreciate him and we value him in this community,” Mayor Tito Brown said. “If there is anything I can do, personally or professionally, I would do that for him.”
A community show of support is planned for Saturday — one day before his deadline to leave the country.
Al’s Green Card was confiscated years ago on a claim that his first marriage was fraudulent. He has been fighting to get one ever since.
Congressman Tim Ryan has been fighting against the Trump Administration policy that says Al has to leave.
“You’re using money, manpower, and to go after this upstanding citizen when there are violent criminals out there that we should be focusing our resources on,” Ryan said.
He said hundreds of thousands of people across the country are in similar circumstances.
Al and other people known as “dreamers” are being ordered out of the country under new immigration policies. In many cases, they came to the U.S. legally as children or young adults and are now being denied citizenship.
Ryan said the new enforcement tactic is wrong.
“Focus on people who are committing violent crimes. Throw them the hell out of the country. Don’t be wasting taxpayer money chasing somebody who’s actually paying taxes, hiring people, doing a lot of really good things.”
He said he wants to see the government work on a real solution.
“The main issue is can we have the political will to pass comprehensive immigration reform? That means securing the border, making sure the people who are here are documented.”
Ryan said he’ll keep looking for ways to keep Al in the U.S. but Congress doesn’t come back from the winter break until after the deportation order takes place.
The show of solidarity for Al will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at 15 Belgrade Avenue in Youngstown.