November 1st, 2008
12:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama's aunt may be illegal immigrant

Sen. Obama visited Kenya, his father's birthplace, in 2006. The Associated Press has reported that a paternal aunt of Obama's is living in the U.S. illegally.
Sen. Obama visited Kenya, his father's birthplace, in 2006. The Associated Press has reported that a paternal aunt of Obama's is living in the U.S. illegally.

(CNN) – A member of Barack Obama's Kenyan family living in the United States is facing a possible immigration issue: the Associated Press reports that an aunt he speaks about in his memoirs is living in the United States illegally.

The AP says she remain in government housing in Boston, even though an immigration judge denied her request for asylum four years ago.

Zeituni Onyango's refusal to leave the country would be an administrative violation, not a criminal matter.

CNN has not been able to independently verify her immigration status.

The Obama campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for comment.

Obama called the woman "Aunt Zeituni" in his memoirs, where he described her as the first Kenyan relative he encountered on his visit to his father's home country.

Onyango has donated at least five times to Obama's campaign in July and September, listing her occupation as a "volunteer resident health advocate." Federal campaign finance records indicate several contributions in amounts of $5 and $25.

Updated 11:37 a.m.: Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, issued the following statement in response to the AP's reporting about Sen. Obama's aunt: "Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed. "

Full story

soundoff (1,442 Responses)
  1. Elsa

    So??

    November 1, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Frustrated Conservative

    Whatever
    Report something worthwhile.... and Bush and Cheney should be in prison for defying the constitution

    November 1, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. Blue By You

    OK, so this affects the economy how?

    November 1, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Kathy S. Cloughn

    A lot of families can relate to this. treat her like anyone else.

    November 1, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Brian

    and this is important because.....?

    November 1, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. s.positive

    It is amazing what this guy has to go through but I know that the Lord is with him...

    November 1, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. Stephen - Kentucky

    When will a serious investigation begin into Senator Obama’s citizenship? This issue is legitimate, has not been answered with an honest, forthright approach and speaks to the very heart of our Constitutional protection. While it may be an awkward time to seriously ask the question and investigate, it is also incumbent upon the Constitutionally protected American media to provide the American public with certain protections when the very fabric of the Constitution is at risk of degradation.

    There are now enough evidence, witnesses, and questions to warrant a review and you CNN should take the lead on this.

    Kindly,

    Stephen
    Wilmore, KY

    November 1, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Susan

    This Aunt is harming who?????

    Grandmas for Obama

    November 1, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. YaGottaBeKidding

    Pardon for asking, but what possible relevance to the election is anything about a (half)-sister of a father that abandoned Obama when he was born?

    I think the Me-Too Media is getting led around by their noses by this stuff.

    November 1, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Garrett

    I don't know how relevant this is but it is really a surprise? Almost all "revelations" like this have cut against Obama and his message of hope, change, and caring for each other. There appears to be a disconnect between what Obama says and who he is.

    Even Dems HAVE to admit that Obama has some shady characters in his past and there are some questions about who he really is. The degree to which this is a factor in the election is absolutely debatable. It may be that Dems don't care, don't want to hear it, or just want anything but George W. Bush and John McCain, but the truth is there are a lot of unanswered questions about Senator Obama and he doesn't seem to be in a rush to answer them. That is undeniable.

    November 1, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Lynne

    Wonderful use of my tax dollar going to house an illegal relative of Obama...soon our tax dollars will go to house, feed, and provide medical care to 10 million illegal imigrants that are hiding out in our country and who are not contributing. Soon Obama will tell them they can stay and they will invite their relatives to come over too. Funny how Obama's tax increase has slowly changed from $250,000 to $200,000 to 150,000 to 120,000....he will NEVER be able to fill the empty promises he has delivered and soon after the election if he wins, they will begin to prepare people for the changes that are coming. Not the ones promised. I am disgusted at the STUPID people in our country who blindly will hand over our country to be run by a person with no paper trail, questionable friends and supporters, and who does not have any executive experience other than being a junior senator for 4 years. Wake up America before it is too late!

    November 1, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. TAINOPOWER

    What about obama? He has not show prove that he is a us citizen?

    November 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. Bra Rick

    So what CNN? Who cares? What does this have to do with the election?

    November 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. Jeremy Tampa

    And this is news because?

    November 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. John S

    And this is news why???? Man CNN is getting really desperate.

    November 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Drew

    And? This is so irrelevant. Oh, wait...here come the righties to cry
    "he's not an american citizen!"

    November 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. Doofus

    Wow. And this is important because?

    November 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  18. Billy

    Whew! CNN almost went 10 minutes without a negative Obama story.

    Meanwhile, McCain still hasn't released Palin's medical records as promised.

    November 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. Jorge

    Why don't you report that she lives in a slum? Where is Obama's generocity? Are we really to believe that he is going to help Americans when he doesn't even help his relatives? Obama and Biden are real generous with other's people money but when it comes to their own money they don't spread the wealth. Why not be patriotic and give to charity? Because their both full of crap.

    November 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. observer

    And what has this to do with Senator Obama again? What control did he have over his aunt's life's.

    November 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Let it go..........

    There are probably more "illegals" in America doing good then there are "legals"...She is just one of them caught up in red tape. And yes, I was born here and legal so don't misconstrue my opinion...

    November 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. Notre Dame

    please don't let this actually amount to anything...

    November 1, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. rm

    Is this the best dirt McCain could dig up? If this is Obama's fault, then Cindy's drug addiction is McCain's...... so is Palin's AIP relationship and abuse of power findings. Give me a break.

    November 1, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. former republican

    The media is trying so hard to make this election close to boost their ratings.

    You guys put obama under the microscope but let mccain get away with saying whatever he wants. how you do some dumpster diving on mccain?? what about him ditching his first wife for that rich woman???

    November 1, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Eric

    WHO CARES???

    Oh, wait, this is the Extreme Right's attempt to make a so-called "October Surprise." How pathetic!

    November 1, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58