Valley reps ask governor for help getting Youngstown businessman released

Schiavoni and Lepore-Hagan said as Adi enters the second week of his hunger strike, his health has begun to deteriorate

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – State Representatives Joe Schiavoni and Michele Lepore-Hagan are asking for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s help to get Youngstown businessman Amer “Al” Adi released from custody.

Officials with the Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) arrested Adi last week when he showed up for a hearing on his immigration status. He was scheduled to be deported, but ICE gave him a stay while reviewing his case.

Then, when family members believed that he would be released, he was transferred to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.

Schiavoni and Lepore-Hagan said as Adi enters the second week of his hunger strike, protesting the actions of ICE, his health has begun to deteriorate. They visited him at the correctional center and hope that Kasich’s support may encourage his release and pathway to a court hearing.

READ: Schiavoni’s and Lepore-Hagan’s letter to Gov. Kasich

Adi is the owner of the Downtown Convenience Store and Deli and has been in the United States for 39 years. Immigration officials determined that his marriage to a woman in 1980 was a “sham” based on a signed affidavit from the woman saying she married Adi to help him stay in the U.S., according to court documents. The woman later recanted her statement.

Court records also indicate that Adi abandoned his lawful permanent residence (LPR) status, which was granted during his marriage to his first wife, by moving to Brazil with his current wife in 1988 and remaining outside of the U.S. until they returned in 1992. Two years after their return, his wife filed the first of three unsuccessful I-130 petitions for LPR on Adi’s behalf.

Adi has filed several appeals in the case and has been fighting deportation in the United States District Court of Appeals.