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. M Jonah

    CNN what you have shown as a comment being moderated has no relation to the above story so please remove that. I do not want this one posted either.

    I would rather you post my first comment. I just spoke the truth and nothing more. I did not make any disrespectful comments. Did I?

    January 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Briana the college student

    Do any of you conservative losers have a job? I bet you are all a bunch of stay at home moms that wish you could do what Michelle Obama does.

    January 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Ida/Tennessee

    Kick the foreign Olympian athletes out. They use America to get an unfair advantage during the Olympics. Let them train in their own countries. Stop letting them lay around America all day.

    Keep Barack's aunt here, she's old. Leave her alone.

    January 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Michael

    Just great! It's bad enough that she has been in tne country illegally (and I'm sure he knew absolutley nothing about it), but it is even worse that she got invited to inaugural events. Did I miss something or did we run out of legal residents to invite?

    January 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Greed is not good

    HEre we go again. Rush Limbaugh now has something to chat about on his radio lecture.

    January 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Hammer

    And this is a country of laws, right?

    January 26, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. KB from Texas

    This blog looks as if it is designed to say that the President has done something wrong? This is unbelievable!!!!! Give it a rest conservatives.

    January 26, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Gary

    Looks like we'll have to build a fence around Kenya now.

    January 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. seriously?

    Why do some of you think this has anything to do with Obama?

    I didn't hear any of you complaining when John McCain's brother called 911 to complain about traffic and cussed out the dispatcher when he responded that 911 was for emergencies. Why not? Because it had nothing to do with John McCain!

    And this has nothing to do with Pres. Obama!

    January 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Ray Ray

    Now why exactly would ANYONE expect a man who directed earmark money to his wife's employer, did a shady land-deal with a now convicted felon, sat for 20 years in a bigoted church but denied knowing it for political expediency.... WHY would anyone expect THAT person's auntie to obey US Laws?

    January 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. God Help us

    Cry me a River stop whining she is in this country, let her suffer and pay taxes so these big banks can line there offices with $30,000 toilets like everybody else. TO ALL REPUBLICAN, RACIST, PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T VOTE FOR BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. He is your president it is official and he will be in my 4 yr old daughter history books when she gets older ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    January 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Kenya is not at war. Deportation order already issued. What criteria does she meet? The party is over. Go home.

    January 26, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. janet

    gee, somehow they neglect to mention that she is living in free housing from the State!!!!

    January 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. tdlc

    ha ha ha. he's from HAWAII. not kenya. at least she was able to enjoy herself here and see obama become president.

    January 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. rr

    Gary January 26th, 2009 4:34 pm ET

    "Looks like we'll have to build a fence around Kenya now."

    U seriously made my day am still laughing wow

    January 26, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. jm

    Why do some of you think this has anything to do with Obama?

    I didn't hear any of you complaining when John McCain's brother called 911 to complain about traffic and cussed out the dispatcher when he responded that 911 was for emergencies. Why not? Because it had nothing to do with John McCain!

    And this has nothing to do with Pres. Obama!

    To seriously –
    You are an idiot.

    Why do Obamabots automatically draw "comparisons" rather than offer an explanation, especially when the comparisons are apples and oranges. Truth is, Sen. McCain's brother is a moron, and an arrogant fool, and that's that. He is, however, AN AMERICAN CITIZEN who is not breaking any law by being here, unlike Pres. Obama's aunt, who lives in public housing, probably doesn't pay taxes, and got to see her nephew sworn in as President, when others would likely be deported or in jail.

    Does no one else have a problem with a President being sworn in with his "illegal immigrant" (should have been deported – not american citizen – not granted asylum = illegal) aunt with him? It just seems a little hypocritical.

    January 26, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Karen N in Los Angeles

    I thought Obama said he supports her deportation.

    My opinion is that anyone here illegally should be shown the exit.

    I am tired of supporting the entire world that does not pay our taxes, especially now that we have no money.

    January 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. John

    To Briana the college student: Funny how you ask if us conservatives have a job. You are in college probably without a job. The liberals are the ones who don't work since they are able to hold a protest every other day while the rest of us work.

    January 26, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. dmjakers

    After the recent death of his grandmother, and the long-ago death of his mother, many will be sympathetic if he gets put in the position of having to deport his aunt.

    January 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. GRIM

    When this story was originally reported, Obama said he had not talked to his aunt in sometime, but somehow she's important enough to him to get invited to the Inauguration? Something doesn't seem right...........

    January 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Gisele

    She might have broken the law, but it's not like she is endangering publice safety or anything.
    She is the US President's aunt for God Sake and that is a huge perk anyone of us would love to have.
    President Obama (and all of us whenever we can) has a moral duty to use his influence to help his family members as long as this help does not endanger anyone else.

    Beside, if he does not help her, he will probably be criticized for it as well... Remember his half brother who lives in the slums of Kenya?

    January 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Gisele

    She might have broken the law, but it's not like she is endangering publice safety or anything.
    She is the US President's aunt for God Sake and that is a huge perk anyone of us would love to have.
    President Obama (and all of us whenever we can) has a moral duty to use his influence to help his family members as long as this help does not endanger anyone else.

    Beside, if he does not help her, he will probably be criticized for it as well... Remember his half brother who lives in the slums of Kenya?

    January 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. AndyL

    Keep her in Guantanamo Bay until she meets all immigration criterias!

    January 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Steve (the real one)

    globalgroove January 26th, 2009 3:42 pm ET
    The haters only want her out because she is President Obama's aunt. If it were anyone else they wouldn't care
    ----------------
    Wrong! The "haters" want her out if she is here illegally! She was asked to leave 4 years ago! Ridiculous arguement!

    January 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Soccer Nana

    @Ray Ray,

    Stop trying to be a low self esteem, limbaugh wannabe. No matter what you say regarding this issue, auntie must still go through "due process" regarding her immigration status, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER IMMIGRANT IN THE SAME SITUATION.

    January 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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