Deported Youngstown businessman talks to crowd of protesters via phone


CLEVELAND (WYTV) – On this night of the State of the Union, a hundred people gathered on a historic Cleveland corner to protest the Trump Administration’s immigration policies. Among them was deported Youngstown businessman Amer Adi, linked to the event through his daughter’s cell phone.

The rally was held at Cleveland’s Market Square Tuesday evening.

Amid chants and signs protesting the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, Adi was there in spirit — on the other end of a phone in Jordan.

“I have mixed feelings,” he said. “I’m happy to be here with part of my family, but I’m sad to leave the other part of my family over there, which is my wife and my kids.”

The crowd passed the phone around — everyone wanted to talk to him.

At one point, Adi’s wife, Fidaa Musleh, held it high so Adi could view the rally.

“I feel that because of the fact of this decision that ended up with the deportation of myself to Jordan, here, was not the right decision,” Adi said. “Was a very bad decision. I pray to whoever made that decision that afflicted a lot of hate.”

The Youngstown area was well-represented at the rally. In the front row was Fidaa’s brother, Naser Musleh.

“We want to speak out against this injustice that we feel that was imposed on my sister and our family,” he said.

“I still have no idea why they detained him for two weeks,” Fidaa said.

At the end of the rally, she and their daughter took the stage. Lina Adi was so overcome with emotion, that at one point, she stopped speaking and cried.

“We’re going to need to figure out how we’re going to fix this immigration system and we need to bring my dad back. We need to bring him back. Thank you.”

Adi’s story has resonated outside of the Youngstown area. The people in Cleveland that WKBN talked to Tuesday night all knew what he and his family have gone through.