January 26th, 2009
02:47 PM ET
4 years 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. RealityCheck

    She broke the law and did not leave when told to do so. No matter who she is she should be out of here NOW!!!! This reeks of favoritism.

    January 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Neal

    You know I'm not too worried about an illegal Kenyan, but I'm still confused about the plan flights after 9/11 when the skies were locked down. You remember Bush and Cheney making sure that their Saudi friends got out of the US safely?
    I mean, its not like Saudi Arabia has anything to do with the terrorists that attacked us... Well other than the fact that the man who organized is a member of the Saudi aristocracy... and most of the guys who did it were Saudi citizens...
    So yeah, why aren't we occupying Saudi Arabia right now?
    Why is Osama Bin Ladin free and Saddam Hussein dead?
    Why is Dick Cheney in prison?
    Why isn't Don Rumsfeld on trial in the Hague for crimes against Humanity?
    Why wasn't George Bush impeached? (Heck Clinton was impeached for trying to hide that he was fooling around on his wife... Bush led us to war under false pretenses, which he KNEW were false.)

    January 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    If she was not related to the President would she be staying in the USA?

    January 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Neal

    that'd be plane and there'd be an 'it' after organized,

    January 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. matt

    President Shady at his best

    January 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Mev

    Wong said her client had not received any special treatment in the immigration system. But being the President's aunt has its perks.

    So much for change. This seems like the same old political crap as always. Sad, I voted for change.

    My brother in law never received a deportation order, he did come here illegally but chose to make things right and become a legal citizen. Now he is has been banned from entering the US for 3 years. Here is a woman who was ordered to leave, did not obey the order and she is still here..... and went to at least.... one ball! Should we call her Cinderella?

    Tell me....... how can this person say her client never received any special treatment? and why didn't all illegals receive a invitation to the swearing in and at last one ball??

    January 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Ryan

    If this issue had been with a Republican, there would have been hell to pay. Immediate deportation!
    But, with a Democrat, it's a totally different issue.
    She was told to leave 4 YEARS AGO! Hypocrites! I guess that's to be expected with this Administration. I mean, heck, we plan on placing a bonafide tax cheat at the head of the Treasury, so why not let Aunt Onyango stay? I'm sure it's just "an honest mistake."

    January 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Debby, NJ

    You seriously need to get one !!!

    January 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Jackson, Seattle

    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?

    If McCain had won, would you be on this same soapbox complaining that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone?

    Yeah, didn't think so.....hypocrite.

    January 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. P. Y.

    Who cares ! This comment should get about 600 comments from Obama haters. I see that " Reality Check " is already on here trying to stir up trouble. Get a life Reality.

    January 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Ryan

    Reality Check really? Did you just write that? I could sell you anything because obviously you will believe anytihng Fixed News puts to you. Tool

    January 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Jay

    Reality grow up!

    January 26, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Lambert Moore Saint Louis, MO

    Do we not have anything else to talk about? We are in two wars an economy that is out of control and this is what someone is getting paid to write about. Give me a break! So much for good news, if this is the type of reporting that we can continue to expect.

    January 26, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. person

    relax, this is not real news! We just heard the job cuts and you guys are still looking for unimportant news.

    January 26, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Matt

    @ RealityCheck

    What reeks of favoritism? That she's being treated like everyone else in her position? Did you read the article or are you just running off at the mouth in hopes people believe your dribble?

    January 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Millie Bea

    The violation was 4 years ago and th ecase was re-opened in December? And there was no special treatment? Why didn't authorities pick her up 4 years ago- forget who she is related to at this point...

    January 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. person

    Yes, "realityCheck" you are the only one in this world who could prove where obama was born. You would know.

    January 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Snake eyes


    January 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Observant

    What is wrong is that you are looking for something? Let's ask you to focus your energy on a solution to current issues affecting the country as a whole.

    Have a Good Day!!!

    January 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. flyer

    Why is she still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Send her back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Jan Illinois

    Laws are laws no matter who your related too Correct? Their are thousands of illegals out there and if the economy keeps going as it is, this will come front and center as it should have years ago, we are having a tough enough time making it on our own let alone taking care of others at this time. It's not Pretty ,but us first for a CHANGE.

    January 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    12,000,001 people who should be rounded up and deported.

    January 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Boston Irish

    How did she suddenly become LEGAL?? If it had been anyone else, she would have been out of here when they discovered her months ago. I guess the laws have to be obeyed only for some, not all. I can't see anything special to warrant her case being re-opened. Something is giving off a terrible odor.

    January 26, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. calm down people - what's the big deal?

    So what – of course she's being hooked up, but you and everyone else would do the same for a family member put in the same situation.

    it doesn't apply to just the president, every gets hooked up through friends – 80% of people in good jobs got their becuase a freind got them an in. students at Ivy league schools mostly were accepted thanks to the donations from their parents convicted fellans across the country have been released due to a presidential pardon, so stop sounding so surprised and outraged that a woman reltaed to the president is going to get her 'perks' to stay in this country. If she's not breaking laws and is contributing to her comunity then what is the big deal?

    Or does this mean you don't shop, eat or socialize in 80% of the shops, restaurants, parks in this country because illeagle alians work there? I know there is a huge list of Americans waiting to clean toilets and make your fast food!

    January 26, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Kevin

    Who cares? It politics as usual. So much for change, like enforcing the laws.

    January 26, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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