YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Downtown Circle owner Al Adi celebrated his stay of deportation with hundreds of people at the Arab American Community Center on Saturday.
Adi was originally scheduled to be deported back to Jordan on Sunday, but local politicians and community members advocated for him all week long.
Thursday morning, Adi got a call from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) saying he could stay in the U.S. It’s a victory he attributes to support from the Mahoning Valley.
“When they seen the story and they understand the story, it was an amazing support that came from all over Youngstown,” Adi said.
Bipartisanship was essential in keeping Adi in Youngstown.
Mahoning County Republican Party Vice Chair Tracey Winbush worked alongside House Democrat Tim Ryan all week long, making calls on Adi’s behalf.
Winbush says some things just aren’t political.
“This is not about politics, this is about people, this is about the Mahoning Valley. This is about someone that we know and someone that we care about that we want to keep here,” she said.
It’s a theme Congressman Ryan hopes he can carry to Washington, D.C.
“That’s the thing that I hope we can share with the country. Look, we can get past all this division, we can get past all of these issues that seem to divide us,” he said.
As for Abi, he doesn’t know exactly what will happen next with his case.
“They [ICE] gave me an appointment to go see them on the 16 of January. After that, we will know exactly what’s going on,” he said.
Whatever the outcome, those involved say the community has his back.
“No matter what your walk of life is, he’s always been there for us, and we need to be there for him,” Winbush said.