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Amid immigration reform debate, families speak out against President, Congress

Posted: 10:31 PM, Jan 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-31 06:20:51-05

Immigration reform was front and center during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The address took place amid an Ohio story gaining major national attention - the deportation of a Youngstown businessman , father, and husband, back to his home country of Jordan after spending nearly 40 years living and working in the U.S.

"It's devastating. He left a family without even saying goodbye to anybody," said Fidda Musleh.

Musleh's husband, Amer Adi, a Youngstown business owner, speaks to his family now via Facetime, from Jordan. He was deported by ICE agents after spending 39 years in the U.S. and starting multiple businesses in Youngstown.

"I could not even say bye to my daughters and my wife and that was really uncalled for, it was unjust," said Adi via Facetime Tuesday.

"The way ICE took him and they transferred him from the facility in Youngstown and they transferred him to Chicago without telling a single soul and I waited all day long for that phone call I usually get every day and when I didn't hear him. I was devastated," said Musleh.

"I really thought something was going to happen when the shutdown happened. Unfortunately it didn't," said Fatima Rahman. 

Rahman is a dreamer, one of the estimated 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants, brought to the U.S. by their parents.

DACA, the law that protects dreamers and allows them to stay in the U.S., is expiring in March.

Congress has been unable to reach an agreement to extend DACA, leaving nearly one million dreamers wondering if they'll need to leave the only country they've ever called home.

Rahman has been in the U.S. since she was one year old. She's now a student at Case Western University and is working two on-campus jobs.

"I still hold hope because if there's no hope, there's no point, but I'm trying my best to keep hope, because every day seems harder," she said.

It is still unclear if Congress will be able to reach a DACA agreement before it expires in March.

As for Adi, his family says they're taking his deportation one day at a time and will be flying back and forth to Jordan to see him.