YOUNGSTOWN— Today, State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) visited Amer “Al Adi” Othman at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, where F ederal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities unexpectedly detained Othman following a notification of his release.  
 
“In our nation and state, no family should be forced to wade through such a traumatic and dysfunctional nightmare brought on by a complete lack of transparency and politics,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “Taxpayers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and Al’s family deserves to know he is safe and well at all times.”
 
The lawmakers, whose legislative districts house the facility, worked with prison officials to gain access to the facility to meet with Othman, who is being held in a medical assisted solitary unit. He is engaged in a hunger strike until he is either released or provided an explanation for his imprisonment.
 
When asked if he had a message for the public, Mr. Othman expressed love for his family, The Valley, and the United States. He expressed confusion for his arrest, because he had agreed to leave the U.S. and had purchased a ticket back to his birth country, making this situation completely unnecessary. Mr. Othman shared a wish to be home with his family while he awaits a decision about his future.
 
“I have an incredible amount of respect for Al because of the courage he’s showing in the face of ICE’s treatment. Al is sitting in a jail cell, but all he’s talking about is love for his family, his city, and his country. That’s the kind of person we should want living in our community,” said Senator Schiavoni. “There’s no excuse not to let Al be with his family while decisions are being made.”
 
While at the prison, Sen. Schiavoni and Rep. Lepore-Hagan also asked for details regarding Mr. Othman’s health and the reason for his arrest and imprisonment. No ICE official was available to answer questions at the time of the visit. The legislators have been in contact with Mr. Othman’s lawyer, Congressman Tim Ryan, and Governor Kasich’s office about this issue, and hope to push to have Mr. Othman released.
 
The Youngstown community has held several rallies to protest Mr. Othman’s imprisonment. Senator Schiavoni and Representative Lepore-Hagan will attend another rally scheduled for today.

 
 
 
  
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