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. I Can't Wait for Obama's Second Inauguration

    Cue the right-wing "Outrage".

    January 26, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Jenny

    Of course she is still here. Obama is in power and power corrupts. Auntie will get to stay, just like Geithner doesn't have to pay his taxes like the rest of the country. Change? Yes, but not for the better, I'm afraid.

    January 26, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Jon in CA

    SHOCKING!

    You mean a woman who had a deportation order MYSTERIOUSLY is granted a "stay" on the deportation order after her nephew was elected President??

    NO! It can't be!

    I guess SOME people are above the law, eh Barack?

    January 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. phil

    pls leave the woman alone .

    January 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Charles in MN

    Dang she got it made in the shade now. LOL.

    January 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. cat

    American Express it has it's rewards

    January 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Everett Pusey

    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO OBAMA'S KENYAN GRANDMOTHER? WASN'T SHE SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE INAUGURATION?

    January 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Matt

    Well color me suprised by this. Obama's illegal Aunt is still here and now that he has taken over she is going to stay. She got tickets to the inaugeration and a inaugural ball.

    She has gotten more than any law abiding tax paying right to be here American ever did.

    So much for change we can believe in and transparency of government.

    Deport this sorry old coot and every other illegal that is taking up space and jobs here in the US. We can't afford the luxury of them on our system any more.

    January 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Robin

    I'm not saying she should not stay, but it seems rather unfair to millions of others who would like to stay and can't.

    Next thing you know, she will be living in the Blair House.

    January 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Matt

    Well color me suprised by this. Obama's illegal Aunt is still here and now that he has taken over she is going to stay. She got tickets to the inaugeration and a inaugural ball as well.

    She has gotten more than any law abiding tax paying right to be here American ever did.

    So much for change we can believe in and transparency of government.

    Deport this sorry old lady and every other illegal that is taking up space and jobs here in the US. We can't afford the luxury of them on our system any more.

    January 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Art

    This is Obama's aunt, right? Save the court cost and time, give her asylum. You know you will anyway.

    January 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Tom

    Anyone who was ordered deported from this country should not still be here 4 years later. How many tax dollars have been wasted on the woman and many like her? Maybe if deportations were carried out in a timely manner the jobs and lives of Americans would be much more secure.

    January 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Jason

    seems like special treatment for the Rex Americanum and his regal family

    January 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Ridiculous

    This is baloney. If she was anyone else she'd be gone. Biased joke of a system and city.

    January 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. nom deplume, esq.

    And this was unexpected, why?

    January 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    This just tops it all. What a great example for the POTUS to set! The woman has been living here illegally for years and oh, boo hoo, she can stay now! Ship her, and all the rest of the illegals out. This country has enough problems supporting itself without supporting illegals too.

    January 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Matt

    Obama's illegal Aunt is still here and now that he has taken over she is going to stay. She got tickets to the inaugeration and a inaugural ball as well.

    She has gotten more than any law abiding tax paying right to be here American ever did.

    Deport this sorry old lady and every other illegal that is taking up space and jobs here in the US. We can't afford the luxury of them on our system any more.

    January 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Matt

    Obama's illegal Aunt is still here and now that he has taken over she is going to stay. She got tickets to the inaugeration and a inaugural ball as well.

    She has recieved more than any law abiding tax paying right to be here American ever did. Deport her already. We can't afford the luxury of illegals on our system any more.

    January 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. eliza

    Good for Auntie Zeituni. I am pretty sure I saw her at the inauguration (on TV).

    January 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. demo in PA

    why not her?
    that is what is wrong with this country
    we let every one in this country that does not belong
    then we find out later
    that they get a free ride because it B.H Obama aunt
    sent her home

    January 26, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Marie banderas

    this aunt of Obamas is not harming one single one of US, whats the big fuss about ???? this is the very least of MY problems...and shouldnt even be in news !!!

    January 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Obama will fail

    Wait a minute...what am I missing here?
    she was ordered to leave the country 4 years ago. She showed INS a finger. After her nephew won, she was allowed to stay.
    She "had not received any special treatment" ????? are you for real?
    I suggest to appoint auntie Zeituni as a head of INS now (analogy to the guy who will be in charge of IRS for not paying taxes). Way to go Obama!

    January 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. RealityCheck

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

    January 26, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Matt

    It's so sad that she's going to get shafted on this. The GOPers are all drooling over the opportunity to have a country-wide coniption fit if she ends up staying in this country.

    January 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Bertin Evina-Ze

    Yeah, big deal!! There are many illegal aliens in this country, so one more won't make a difference. As far as I am concerned, she can stay.

    January 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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