The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) deported Amer Othman Adi, a Palestinian man who lived in Ohio, on Monday, according to local media.
Adi had lived in the US for roughly 39 years before his deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship.
He lived in Youngstown, Ohio, where he was “ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over thirty years,” Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who fought his deportation, said in a statement.
Adi was a business owner in Youngstown, a city of 64,000. “He hired members of our community. He paid taxes. He did everything right,” Ryan continued.
Born in Jordan to Palestinian parents, Adi came to the US at the age of 19. He received a green card, or permanent residence permit, after his first marriage.
Immigration authorities began removal procedures against the immigrant after his first wife said their marriage was fake.
After being charged with “marriage fraud,” Adi lived under a deport order from 2009. His first wife testified in a sworn affidavit that their marriage was legitimate, but that she was pressured by authorities to say otherwise.
The Palestinian man was protected by “private bills” passed by elected officials in the US House of Representatives for years.
These bills typically provide relief to a specific person, as opposed public bills that address nationwide issues.
“While ICE acknowledges Congress’ authority to pass legislation providing immigration benefits to non-citizens, alien beneficiaries need not be present in the United States for a private immigration relief bill to be introduced, considered and/or enacted,” ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls said in the statement.
Adi was detained without warning by ICE on January 16 after appearing for a routine check-in appointment. He was told last September that he would be deported by January 7, but was then reportedly informed the order had been called off.
The Youngstown community was reportedly surprised to hear ICE apprehended the member of their community.
Representative Ryan shared their surprised.
“There are violent criminals walking the streets, yet our government wasted our precious resources incarcerating him,” he said in the statement.