January 26th, 2009
02:47 PM ET
11 months ago

President Obama's aunt remains in US legally for now

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt is in the United States legally, at least for the time being, CNN has learned.

Just days before the November election it was reported that Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Mr. Obama's late father, was living in Boston despite a deportation order issued four years earlier when her asylum request was denied.

A spokesman for the Executive Office of Immigration Review tells CNN, however, that a motion to reopen Onyango's case was granted on December 17th, and on December 30th a stay was placed on the order to remove her. According to the spokesman, she is scheduled to have a new hearing in front of a Boston immigration court on April 1.

"While she is in proceedings she can stay in the country," says Margaret Wong, the attorney representing Onyango. Wong said her client had not received any special treatment in the immigration system. But being the President's aunt has its perks. Wong says that Onyango had tickets to attend her nephew's swearing in last week, and attended at least one inaugural ball.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Matt

    IDA/TENNESSEE: please get your facts right... No Kenyan athletes train in the US especially due to the temperate climate. The reason they are good is because they train in High altitude training camps in Kenya which is a tropical country hence year round training. So many foreign athletes (Yes including Americans) train for long distance races in Kenya so stop dragging irrelevant issues into Obama's aunt discussion..

    January 26, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Caligirl

    RealityCheck January 26th, 2009 3:05 pm ET

    What is wrong with this picture?????? Let's ask her if she was present for his birth in Kenya?
    ______________________________________________________

    You know da.mn well Obama was born in the US.

    January 26, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. oz

    does not our law say no-one is above the law.

    January 26, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. chuck

    Illegals are perfectionists at playing the system. The system is a poor excuse for a system. We coddle the illegals, deliver their many babies for free, call the babies U.S. citizens, tax the he_ _ out of legal citizens to pay for the education of the new child while they hang the flag of their old country above their sofas and blare the music of their indigenous country in their cars at four way stops for all to hear. Did I mention food stamps?

    January 26, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. Karen

    So much for Obama's integrity and moral code. Guess he had those values when he needed them in the election. Poof...all gone now. What a surprise.

    January 26, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Tonya

    I have met alot of illegal people and they are nicer than some of the people that was born and raised in the United States, when she get her citizenship you people will still have something to say, get a life

    January 26, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Caligirl

    Worried in MO January 26th, 2009 4:20 pm ET

    Well, I know all you folks out there who voted this guy into office because he is the same color as you are would say it is ok to break the law, and let an illegal immigrant off the hook. Just wait and see, this country is in for a big disappointment when reality checks in.
    ____________________________________________________

    Careful there my dear, that savors a bit on the racist side.

    January 26, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Fred C Dobbs

    The primaries and the general elections are over.

    Let the games begin – auntie should have been thrown out on her backside long ago.

    BO does not equal change only more of the same. What did you expect, he is half white or can that be said on a CNN web site.

    January 26, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Elsa

    I have pity for YOU : the haters

    January 26, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Caligirl

    Worried in MO January 26th, 2009 5:07 pm ET

    He is President; not because I voted for him. I cried at the inauguration, and had a strong feeling of impending doom. I still cry. As far as allowing his auntie to come in, she should be with her family, but not illegally. She needs to follow the due process of law just like anyone else. Obama is changing laws and rules to satisfy his own wants. I pray for God's will to be done, and God did allow this guy to become President. God has turned his face from the United States as a whole because we are not following his will. Our country allows abortion, gay marriages, and most people are all about meeeeeeeeeeee!
    _______________________________________________________

    So Worried in MO,

    What you are saying is that Obama was elected because God has turned his face from the US?

    That is an awful thing to say.

    January 26, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. out ya go!!

    Yes, this woman has bothered other people!!!!!!!!! We are paying for yet another person to be on welfare and taking housing that another undeserving weldfare person should get.. I don't know about the rest of you, but I give enough of my hard earned money for enough legals to live on...and if you think B.O. did not know his aunt was living here, your full of crap or very gullible. He is just another crook in president clothing...He got voted in on color.. I did not vote for him and I am white, and get called racist just because I did not vote for him. I did not vote for him because of his experience, and definately because he is a baby killer, who believes in late term abortion. BTW, I was a stay at home mom, who made sure her kids were raised with great family values that I instilled...Briana, you act like thats a bad thing? YOUR IGNORANT...It means when I had kids, I WANTED them to raise not for babysitter next door to..If you are financially set this is a great thing to do for your children....Oh also, I could be like Michelle Obama and write a report how I hate the U.S.A. and have only been proud of it ONCE, and whine and cry about this country....Again, I did not vote out of racism..If McCain were black and Obama was all the way white, I would have still voted McCain. Knock off all the racist crap and get over it. Seems all that holler racism is racist themselves!!!

    January 26, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Penny from California

    Put her on a plane, and send her back home where she belongs. I am personally sick and tired of supporting illegals.

    January 26, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. gigi

    get over it! there are so many people in the U.S. illegally, so why focus on President Obama's aunt just because he became President. White presidents have gotten away with murder, but you guys just sweep it under the rug. The people that are in the U.S. illegally should be handled on perhaps a state level anyway. There are bigger issues to deal with than just this one person who happens to be President Obama's aunt. For instance, Bush waltzing around for eight years and leaving folks jobless, homeless and hopeless and running back to Texas to live the life of prosperity. Don't hate; President Obama is the Commander in Chief and you guys can't stand it; but you're gonna have to - it is what it is –Yes it is!

    January 26, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Eric Jones

    She is the President's Aunt and I understand she is here illegal however she is the President's Aunt.. Bush daughter had problems with the law for drinking issues or something of the sort, im sure she didnt receive what a regular girl would have because her father was the President... Unfortunately being a family member of a man with power has privileges. Im not saying its right but it comes with the territory...
    I strongly feel that if any one of us was in those shoes our Aunt wouldnt be going anywhere but to the other room to visit our spouse and children and enjoying the benefits... If she gets deported I would feel like the President failed his family... He's looking out for every other American and some non Americans, the least he can do is make it happen for his Aunt... He's in a no win situation! So make your elderly Aunt Happy Mr. President!!.. Everything else with the law is Case by Case basis..

    January 26, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Jim

    Get her out. And get the rest out too.

    January 26, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Terry, Lakeland Florida January 26th, 2009 4:11 pm ET

    Reality Check> I think you need one. Your president was born in Hawaii.
    ———————————————-
    How do you know? Obama refused to show proof even after his grandparents said he wasn't born there.
    --------------------–

    Okay idiot Terry, just like Reality Check, you missed the point, even if Obama was born in a submarine under the Arctic Circle, he is STILL an American citizen because his birth mother was an American woman from Kansas. Are you COMPREHENDING YET? God, it's amazing some of you ignorant retards made it to adulthood.

    January 26, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. jamaal

    Cue the music from the TV show, "The Jeffersons."

    Old Auntie is going from near homeless with a deportation order against her to Mistress of the Inaugurals in less than 3 months!! Now that's progress!! Soon, she can move from the slum public housing she's been wallowing in for so long. Then the Black House will have the Pres-o-dent, his babys' momma, she momma, and now he auntie!!

    January 26, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Carmelita

    HELLO ALL,

    THE LAST TIME I CHECKED, UNLESS YOU ARE A NATIVE AMERICAN, YOU ARE ALL ILLEGALLY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL, WHERE IS SHE GOING TO GO WHILE THEY REVIEW HER CASE. ARE YOU GUYS WHO ARE OFFENDED THAT SHE IS HERE GOING TO PAY FOR HER RETURN TRIP.

    IT APPEARS THAT SHE IS AN ELEDERLY WOMAN, WHO HAS NOT TROUBLED ANYONE, NO ONE KNEW SHE WAS HERE UNTIL THE NEWS MEDIA DUG HER UP FOR SOME LAST MINUTE EXCITEMENT DURING THE CAMPAGIN.

    PLEASE LEAVE HER ALONE AND LET THE PROCESS TAKE IT'S COURSE. IF SHE IS THEN DEPORTED THEN I AM SURE SHE WILL GO. THERE ARE SO MANY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN AMERICA, PLEASE GO FIND THEM, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE INCITING CONFLICT.

    REMEMBER, THAT YOUR FOREPARENTS ALL CAME FROM SOMEWHERE, SO CHILL ALREADY.

    PEACE
    CARMELITA

    January 26, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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