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. Anonymous

    –RealityCheck-- Give it up buddy. Why don't you take your lame internet smear and burn it.

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

    Let's be real, "RealityCheck", she can be pardoned now!

    January 26, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. kayla


    January 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Otanes

    RealityCheck, you are wrong. If you know anything about immigration courts you would not say that. In most asylum cases, the INS case workers automatically reject the application (and ask the applicant to leave the country) so the case can be heard in an immigration court by a judge (above a clerk pay grade). It’s all part of bureaucratic process.

    January 26, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Tafari

    Get over it & go after all illegal immigrants if you are so frustrated with the system. The issue is bigger than Onyango.

    And if you still think Obama was born in Kenya, your just a fool!

    January 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Nija

    She can stay with me anytime.

    January 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. texas teacher

    Seriously, it doesn't matter if she was present or not at his birth. Nor does it matter what country he was born in, his mother was an American citizen so he is one! Now, as far as the aunt's status in the US ... if she should have been deported, then she needs to be treated the same as anyone else. However, we all know there are many many people who have overstayed their visas and are still here, so if we're going to crack down on her, we need to crack down on all!!!

    January 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Lpreddie


    January 26, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Laverne

    To RealityCheck: Don't be ignorant, you know Obama was born in Hawaii. Wonder if you are as outraged about the other millions of illegal immigrants in the US. I doubt it!

    January 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Ken in Dallas

    MendacityCheck, under the law,it doesn't matter if Obama was born on Mars, he was still born an American citizen. Don't you have any new lies to promote? This one's extremely well-debunked, and stale as your week-old gym socks.

    January 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Dems be dopes

    Change and transparency you can believe in..............

    Unless you are related to the Chief of Transparency and Change...

    Tax evader for a Cabinet post...

    No lobbyists in my regime......................maybe

    Funding overseas abortions...........

    Closing GITMO without a plan...........

    I can't wait to see what else he has planned for us.

    January 26, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Tiffany

    RealityCheck...He was born in Hawaii. And if you haven't taken a look at the rest of this site. We have much bigger problems than this.

    January 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. jo

    CNN how come RealityCheck has 2 post???
    Let her stay she is the Auty to the President of the United States.

    Leave the lady alone!!!!!

    January 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Matthew, New Orleans

    Amazing how some people just dont quit with the ignorance and the hate. No one said anything when Bush allowed several Iraques to like in the US. Bigots please get a life.

    January 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Chris, Albany, NY

    RealityCheck~LOL~You need a RealityCheck~LOL!

    January 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Jacob

    Boston rarely deports anyone...

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. adam

    RealityCheck: Your bitter tears of anguish and woe taste the best of all.

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Law N Legal

    There is nothing wrong with this picture. She did not break the law. While you are in removal proceedings, you can stay in the country. This proceedings take forever. You can also appeal the decision, and go in front of the boards of appeals.

    Don't be quick to judgements when you don't know the law. IGNORANT

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Bob in Pa

    Why she's a citizen of the World !

    January 26, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. globalgroove

    The haters only want her out because she is President Obama's aunt. If it were anyone else they wouldn't care.

    January 26, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Meh

    I agree w. Bertin Evina-Ze. The only reason people are foaming at the mouth about this is b/c of who she is related to.

    Reality Check> I think you need one. Your president was born in Hawaii.

    January 26, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. James

    Leave Zeituni Onyango alone! She is an individual who should be given no more media scrutiny than any other person dealing with immigration. Respect her privacy.

    January 26, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. greg

    wowowowowowowowowowowoowwoowowwowoowwowowowowowowoowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww,,, i love wow,,, wow,, can my mama come now

    January 26, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. rr

    u need to grow up and give it up on President Obama. U may not like him but he is not going anywhere for the next four years actually for the next 8 years so people like u can start going to canada.

    January 26, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. worriedmom

    Why am I not shocked at this>

    January 26, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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