Dem lawmaker leaving seat vacant at SOTU to honor people 'wrongfully targeted for deportation'

Dem lawmaker leaving seat vacant at SOTU to honor people 'wrongfully targeted for deportation'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanHoping to catch fire, House Dems eye White House Ocasio-Cortez draws ire from Democrats: ‘Meteors fizz out’ Pelosi wants party leadership elections post-Thanksgiving MORE (D-Ohio) is leaving his guest seat vacant at President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE’s State of the Union to honor immigrants who he says have been “wrongfully targeted for deportation.”

In a press release, Ryan said that he is leaving the seat empty “because of the President’s own actions” to increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration arrests and deportations during his presidency.

Ryan specifically points to the case of Amer Othman Adi, a Palestinian man who was deported after living for nearly 40 years in the U.S., despite a request from the House Judiciary Committee to have his case reviewed, allowing him to stay temporarily in the country.

“[Othman Adi] no longer resides in the country he’s called home for 39 years because the Trump Administration decided to target upstanding individuals – Americans in every sense of the word – instead of violent criminals who actually pose a threat,” Ryan said in the release.

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“I’m sad that America, and the Office of the President, has become a place where the politics of fear outweigh doing what is right,” he continued. “Amer deserves to be at the State of the Union this evening, representing himself and so many others like him, to show President Trump and Congressional Republicans that the United States is his home. Instead, his seat remains empty.”

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the State of the Union in protest of Trump, many citing his comments about women, minorities and foreign nations.

Several others are bringing “Dreamers,” young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who are protected by the Obama-era program that Trump rescinded, as their guests to the address.

Conservative Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOvernight Energy: Watchdog opens investigation into Interior chief | Judge halts Pruitt truck pollution rule decision | Winners, losers in EPA, Interior spending bill amendments House rejects proposal to boost Interior watchdog’s funding GOP lawmaker speaks at rally for jailed anti-Muslim activist in UK MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday called for Capitol Police to arrest such immigrants in attendance.