January 26th, 2009
02:47 PM ET
10 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. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Yep!!! Lets let all the illegal folks that cross the border from Mexico come and stay but we definately want to try to kick out one old lady from Kenya... WHY? Well that should give Campbell Brown something else to squack about ....

    January 26, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Yodit

    RealityCheck – stop whining. Ms. Oyango is here and she's here to stay. Just grant her asylum NOW and let's get on with it. Oh, BTW, Obama 2012!

    January 26, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Soccer Nana

    @ Lee and Reality Check,

    Can indicated Cheney and Gonzales go to trial now? Can Rove get indicted now?

    You two need to stop drinking the limbaugh, hannity, and coulter kool aid (remember what happened in Jonestown).

    President Obama was born in Hawaii; he did not meet his father's family until HE visited Kenya as an adult.

    January 26, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Elle

    Wow!! It is sickening to think of all of the laws that have been bent to better benefit President Obama and those connected to him. Since his election, it seems as if past precedent means nothing to you liberals! Why should she be allowed to stay? It shouldn't matter who her nephew is and President Obama want to keep hold of any of the integrity he's claimed to have put back into the office, then I advice him to follow the rules. I mean really?....Does he even have a relationship with the woman?!?

    January 26, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. ROLL TIDE

    A glimpse of things to come from this administration. She should be DEPORTED along with everyone else that is here ILLEGALLY. Look out more relatives will start surfacing!

    January 26, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Danny Root

    We take pride, or claim to take pride, in being a nation of laws.
    If the new president's relatives are above the law and are given special treatment because of their relationship to him, then the Obama promise is stillborn.
    I worked and voted for Obama's election. Now I'm having second thoughts about it.

    January 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Jon in CA

    Nice the US Government can break it's own laws to accommodate Obama's aunt. We wouldn't want to upset the messiah.

    January 26, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Just the facts, please

    Isn't this one of the relatives Obama has chosen to not have anything to do with? I thought I read somewhere that he doesn't socialize with all his relatives; only a select few.

    January 26, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Kilian Okanwikpo

    During his campaign Senator Obama rightly returned his kenyan aunt´s donation to her soon after he learnt she was an illegal alien in the US. Her case was thereafter reopened by the US immigration authorities. President Elect Obama rightly invited his( now teporarily legal alien) aunt to witness his swearing-in. The relevant authorities will soon determine and rule on her case. President Obama will not have any influence on the matter, rightly too.

    January 26, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. ROLL TIDE

    A glimpse of things to come from this administration. She should be DEPORTED along with everyone else that is here ILLEGALLY. Look out more relatives will start surfacing!

    January 26, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Pam

    To RealityCheck: You need to get over it. Even if he was born in Kenya, he was born to an American mother, therefore automatically making him an American citizen. READ YOUR LAWS PEOPLE. Truthfully he was born in Hawaii, a US state, so please stop the stupid propaganda. It's really getting old and annoying. Barack Obama isn't going anywhere and is hopefully on his way to better this country and the world.

    January 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Lynn in NM

    What a surprise!! I expected that all along. If they deny her case, can she move into the White House and have immunity?

    January 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. ray

    TO ALL YOU WHITE PEOPLE, TO ALL THE RACISTS REPUBLICANS, TO ALL YOU WHITE BIGOTS, YOU ARE ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.YOU WHITE PEOPLE KILLED, RAPED AND MURDER THE NATIVES FOR THIS LAND SO DONT EVER FORGET THAT. YOU WHITE RACISTS DID MORE HARM AND ARE STILL DOING MORE HARM TO THIS BEAUTIFUL LAND THAT ANY IMMIGRANT WOULD EVER DREAM ABOUT DOING. HAD ALL THE IMMIGRANTS , BOTH LEGAL AND ILLEGAL BEEN WHITE WE WON'T BE HAVING THIS DEBATE ABOUT IMMIGRANTS. I WISH AND PRAY EVERY DAY GOD BURN ALL REPUBLICANS IN HELL.

    January 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Southern Princess

    Is it just me are does it seem that only illegal hispanics have the right to stay here? Whatever, let her stay.

    January 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Erin

    Have any of you thought of the security risk if that woman is deported and kidnapped by terrorists, who then in turn threaten to kill her if Obama doesn't do x, y, and z? Not to mention that people may try to target her to get revenge on Obama for something they don't agree. The man has enough on his plate and doesn't need to worry about that too. Maybe she should get a special visa for 4-8 years until Obama is out of office. Then, deport her after Obama is out of power for everyone's protection.

    January 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Just the Truth

    She had her day in court and her asylum was denied. She was ordered deported. The only reason her case has been reopened is because she is Obama's aunt.

    [Retired Special Agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement]

    January 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    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.

    January 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. ray

    YOU ARE ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHITE PEOPLE, READ YOUR HISTORY.

    January 26, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. susie

    Obama brought "change" to our Country!

    January 26, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Ha ha ha. I guess he is going to offer her presidential pardon. Welcome to the United States of America. Keeping true to his 510 promises ladies and gentlemen. Having fun America? Its getting really crazy by the day.

    January 26, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Throw her out and her nephew as well.

    January 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Bush Basher

    Pull your head out people, who really cares?? Get back in line.....the unemployment line that is...

    January 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Moody

    "RealityCheck":

    Go worship your Queen Sarah Palin and stay with your own delusional crowd. Fox New's website would love to have you.

    January 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Moody

    "RealityCheck":

    Go worship your Queen Sarah Palin and stay with your own delusional crowd. Fox New's website would love to have you.

    January 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Rick

    Throw her out and her nephew along with her.

    January 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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