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Weekend Protests Challenge ICE Decision to Keep Youngstown Businessman in Prison

Trump in Youngstown

A Youngstown businessman facing deportation remains in prison and on a hunger strike, three days after Congressional action was expected to at least temporarily free him. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the case, which led to a weekend of protests in Youngstown.

The protests were organized as word spread that Amer Adi had been transferred to the private federal prison in Youngstown Friday while his family was awaiting his release at the Geauga County jail.  

They had expected him to be freed after a House Judiciary subcommittee – which is considering a bill from Congressman Tim Ryan to give Adi permanent residence – had asked the Department of Homeland Security to review the case.

Adi’s wife of 29 years, Fidaa Musleh spoke at Saturday’s rally in downtown Youngstown.

“We’re not going to give up, of course not.”

Yesterday, the Council on American Islamic Relations rallied for two hours outside the Northeast Ohio Correctional Institution, where Adi is being held. Gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich joined the protest.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the Youngstown Vindicator that it’s reviewing the congressional order. It also said it has the authority to deport someone – even if the action has been stayed -- if it has evidence that “in its judgment warrants immediate removal.”

Immigration officials maintain Adi’s first marriage was a sham so he could get a green card.

Editor's note: CAIR was among the groups participating in Sunday's protest, but was not the organizer.

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.