Hours before Tuesday evening's Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, candidate Julian Castro met with Edith Espinal, the Columbus woman who’s been living inside a Clintonville church for two years to avoid deportation.

a photo of a church service in Salem

Like a lot of people, immigrants are targeted by scammers -- from phony IRS agents to bogus legal services. What often makes them more susceptible, and the scammers more successful, is the drumbeat of a single threat: deportation.

photo of HOLA Ohio members
HOLA Ohio Facebook page

The Latino community gathered Monday in Cleveland to talk about fears facing the immigrant community.

The Trump administration began arresting illegal immigrants nationwide July 18, which has devastated numerous families throughout the country and in Northeast Ohio.

HOLA Ohio Executive Director Veronica Dahlberg said families needed a platform to voice their struggles and seek out solutions.

photo of a U.S. border crossing

Immigrants facing final deportation orders in Northeast Ohio were keeping wary watch this weekend. While ICE arrests in major cities never materialized, small immigrant communities remain afraid.

Among the hundreds of thousands of people facing final orders of removal from immigration judges is a 19 year old woman in Northeast Ohio, whom we’re not identifying by name. Her mother brought her from Honduras when she was 13, after she was sexually abused for three years, stabbed and threatened by gangs.

A photo of the exterior of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Cleveland.

A Cleveland Church that declared itself a “sanctuary church” last December has announced it is housing a man facing deportation.

The Rev. Kelly Burd of Pilgrim Congregational Church says Eulogio Hernandez Box is at risk of immediate deportation to his native Guatemala after a traffic stop last year.

“His appeals (to remain in the country) ran out in 2017. And he received a notice to turn himself in for deportation here in the Cleveland area," Burd said.

Pro-immigration rally
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Just hours before President Trump’s State of the Union called for big cuts in legal immigration and continuing crackdowns on undocumented immigrants, about a hundred people gathered across from Cleveland’s West Side Market to rally for immigrants and refugees. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that the evening included a phone call from a Youngstown businessman less than a day after his deportation to Jordan.

Amer Adi campaign

The decades-long battle of a Youngstown businessman to remain in the U.S. is coming to a close, and leaves a trail of unanswered questions about his deportation case. And, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, it has a lot of people in Youngstown feeling like Amer Adi Othman’s loss is their loss.

Fidaa Musleh and Lina Adi
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Youngstown businessman Amer Adi Othman lost his final bid to remain in the country yesterday (Thursday) when immigration officials turned down a special request from the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. His family went to say goodbye at the private prison where he’s been held and emerged bewildered and angry. 

Amer Othman Adi at his place of business in Youngstown
Congressman Tim Ryan's office


Immigration officials have decided to deport a Youngstown businessman despite a request from the chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that his case be re-reviewed and his deportation stayed.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced this afternoon that it is going ahead with the forced removal of Amer Adi Othman. It says its policy is not to reveal when or how deportees leave.

Photo of Lina Adi
M.L. Schultze / WKSU public radio

About 100 people gathered in downtown Youngstown tonight to write two kinds of letters: letters to Amer Adi Othman to let him know he’s missed, and letters to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to plea for his release. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has the latest on Adi’s deportation case and what is now entering his second week of a hunger strike.

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.  

Photo of Congressman Tim Ryan

  Editor's clarification: The House Judiciary Committee's Immigration and Border Security subcommittee decided Thursday evening to request a report from the Department of Homeland Security on the Amer Adi case to decide if it should pass Ryan's bill. The action means a defacto stay in Adi's deportation, but the bill itself has not passed.

The case of a Youngstown businessman took another dramatic turn tonight as he sat in a jail, on a hunger strike and awaiting deportation.

photo of celebration of Al Adi

Editor's note: This interview with Fidaa Musleh was done just before a U.S. House committee voted tonight on a special bill that, once again, changed the status of her husband's deportation case. The story has been updated to reflect the later events.

photo of celebration of Al Adi

In a surprise reversal, U.S. immigration officials took a Youngstown businessman into custody today, less than two weeks after granting him a temporary stay. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the arrest, which was condemned by a Northeast Ohio congressman and a prominent supporter of President Trump.

Amer Othman Adi in his downtown Youngstown business
Congressman Tim Ryan's office

Youngstown entrepreneur and downtown business owner Amer Othman Adi is not leaving the country this weekend. Immigration authorities had ordered him deported because of questions about the legality of his entry into the U.S. 39 years ago.  But, a groundswell of local support for Adi backed them off, for now.

The government says Adi married a U.S. citizen when he came to America, got a green card, then the couple divorced; it maintains the marriage was a sham. Although he offered evidence for years that the nearly three year marriage was real, he was finally ordered to leave. 

Elvis Saldias, in the Ohio Statehouse, asks Congress to support extended protections for children who were brought to the United States while young and no longer have legal status.Credit Andy Chow / Statehouse News BureauEdit | Remove


Local immigration attorneys say undocumented immigrant families In Northeast Ohio are increasingly skittish as they prepare for routine appointments with federal immigration officials. They’re concerned that the policies that have allowed them to remain in the U.S. are abruptly changing. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that one Akron family found out there’s reason for such fears.