January 26th, 2009
02:47 PM ET
6 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. laura

    C U January 26th, 2009 5:21 pm ET

    And to think, If BO had run for President in his "Father Land" the half- aunt would have been a senior member of his party holding some sort of position within his government. She could have been the "Auntie Immigration and Housing guru". Opps I hope I didn't give him any ideas!

    ___________________________-

    NO C U ... you are thinking of Bush who gave job to a friend of a friend that was a friend of a very good friend .... remember Brownie ( FEMA ) ;op

    January 26, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    Just the Truth:

    Since when have you met all of Obama's supporters? Do you know any of them that would actually support him if caught engaging in incest with his daughters? Nope, I didn't think so. I voted for President Obama, but I don't think he is perfect, and I'll scream just as loud if he messes up than any of you neo-cons, just like I screamed loudly at the abuse and scandals in the GOP. But I'm willing to cut him a bit of slack considering that he's only been in office 6 days. I doubt that President Obama had anything directly to do with his aunt's case - that would be political suicide considering people like you.

    The world is not, pardon the pun here, black and white. It is a large continuum of greys. Not being party to the case file of his aunt, just like none of you are either, I'm not rendering a judgement. It is possible that she has been appealing her deportation - that information is confidential, so you wouldn't know. It is also possible that she is here illegally. Her case is going to be re-heard. Odds are, the fact that her nephew is President of the United States will probably come into play on their decision. Let's face it, would you if it were your decision as someone on the Federal payroll, want to be the one who sends her home? Probably not, unless you were a vindictive person. Shall we go back over all the cases of GOP party bigwigs who knowingly hired illegals, or at least didn't ask for documentation? Shall we go over the misappropriation of funds of big GOP supporters who were overlooked by the Bush Administration? That's a nice juicy topic. The status of one poor, old lady is pretty minor, in comparison.

    Jenny, Geithner paid his taxes AND penalties. He, or more likely his accountant, made a mistake on his 1099 (easy to do with 30+ possible forms to use), and by signing that tax form became liable. When informed by the IRS of the discrepancy, he immediately paid the difference and penalties, plus looked back over prior years and found the same mistake, and amended those returns voluntarily. Please get your news from someone other than Rush. He's not known for the truthfulness of his "reporting."

    January 26, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Desmond Sequeira

    Let's make this a crisis. Do not worry about the economy or terrorism or the environment. Just keep an eye on this lovely lady. She could be dangerous.

    January 26, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Freed_From_W

    Hell yeah – if I was denied asylum, I'd stay too. Land of the Free, indeed.

    January 26, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Pete

    I wonder who put the pressure on to get her off the list?

    Change, if you are scitzo and can't comprehend sarcasm!

    January 26, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Matt

    Ok Ray you need to seek medical help and fast ok. You have some serious rage control issues and need to get a better history book. White people are not here illegally and somehow every other race is here legally.

    If anything we are here because of the poor lax standards of immigration that the Native Americans had at the time. If we are to learn anything from history and this mistake it is not to have a poor immigration standard so that the same thing does not happen to us as well one day.

    Now go back and put a tin foil hat on crazy boy and try and figure out why Mexicans speak Spanish if not for the very same poor immigration standards.

    January 26, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Bridgette-PA

    "Michael B"- the Golden Gate Bridge is waiting for you to jump off of it. Do it now!

    January 26, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. rose

    If this was not the President's aunt would she have been granted this stay? There are a number of immigrations in this country illegally and am curious to know whether the same will apply to them.

    January 26, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Robin

    Ray, (in regard to your post 4:10 pm)

    For the record, my family came over at the turn of the 20th Century, through Ellis Island, LEGALLY. They also worked their fingers to the bone building railroads and paving roads.

    They never took a dime of government money, not even during the Great Depression. They managed to hold onto their farm and every member of the family served in WW2, be it on the battlefield or in the factory.

    Never owned slaves. Keep praying for God to allow Republicans to burn in Hell. My soul and concience is clean.

    This is about being above the law. She was ordered to leave, and did not. It has nothing to do with Right Wing or Left Wing, Black or White. She broke the law. President Obama could have helped her stay legally when he was a Senator. Why didn't he?

    P.S Learn to construct a sentence while you are at it.

    January 26, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Tony Rezko

    Nice, I thought that liberals were the "peace and love, peace and love" part of society, its funny that you guys will defend Obama-Lama's honor in blogs, but I bet you wouldn't do squat on the street....

    January 26, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Northofnorth

    Since when are we responsible for all our off relation ?
    Have we ever saw the equal of things to blame someone?
    If you hardly knew your Father and he resided out of country and President Obama had not been to that country untill older and only once how likely would it be you even know or are close to your Fathers HALF /sister ?
    I lived 5 miles from Grandparents (They never wanted kids around)
    I saw my Grandmother ONCE in my 9 years while she was living .

    January 26, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. greg

    never i say never,, say ,, anything bad about our new leader,,, he is wise,,, he is our ,,, never ,, under my breath,, find some place to hide,,, take family ,, hide, for one year,,, think,, germany,, 1930 – 1945 ,,, let the detox of america begin

    January 26, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. greg

    can my mama , aunt sister 3rd cousin,, sis in law , fatherinlaw. mother in law great grand mother,, 1st cousin her kids,,, and there family come also

    January 26, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. From PA

    Obama is not the "typical" politician...just more corrupt

    January 26, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Not Worried in MO

    @Worried in MO:

    Either I know who you are, or there is someone who sent an almost identical rant to the Springfield News-Leader.

    He is President, because I voted for him. I cried at the inauguration, beacuse had a strong feeling of hope. I am a white, Christian man, and I also I pray for God's will to be done. God has turned his face to the United States now, because "W" was not following his will. W used the name of God to wage war. Talk about bearing false witness! Our country is finally becoming the inclusive country of immigrants our founders imagined, and this is a time to celebrate how far we have come as a nation. We are now moving toward a country of "us" and away dfrom a country of "ME".

    Even your fellow Republican representatives celebrated the inauguration. Why do you continue to be so bitter?

    January 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Erika, KS

    What strings were pulled to make this happen? Oh, let's just let Obama do whatever he wants, no questions asked. You followers are fools.

    January 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Robert

    She is illegal! Get her out of here for breaking the law!!!!!!!!!!! Obama is a liar and manipulator.

    January 26, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Linda in MS

    To all of the hateful people out there, I just hope all of the stuff in your Bible about judgement day is true. It's just too bad you have to wait until you die for all your hate to catch up with you.

    January 26, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Proud American

    Hey Republicans there are far more serious issues facing this nation , than a elderly old lady who isn't a threat to you or anyone else. Do the country a favor and find something more constructive to do with your time. Fact is you lost and can't get over it, move on losers.

    January 26, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. Not Worried in MO

    @Worried in MO:

    Either I know who you are, or there is someone who sent an almost identical rant to the Springfield News-Leader.
    He is President, and I voted for him. I cried at the inauguration, because had a strong feeling of hope. I am a white, Christian man, and I also I pray for God's will to be done. God has turned his face to the United States now with Obama, because "W" was not following his will. W used the name of God to wage war. Talk about bearing false witness!

    Our country is finally becoming the inclusive country of immigrants our founders imagined, and this is a time to celebrate how far we have come as a nation. We are now moving toward a country of "us" and away from a country of "ME".

    Even your fellow Republican representatives celebrated the inauguration. Why do you continue to be so bitter?

    January 26, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. M. S Redmond WA

    I HOPE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT HER NEPHEW BARACK OBAMA
    HELPS HER STAY IN THE US. I KNOW THAT HE WILL FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURE, BUT SHE NEEDS HELP IN STAYING IN THE US.

    SHE IS NOT AN ILLEGAL ALIEN, SHE JUST NEEDS PERMANENT RESIDENCY I BELIEVE. OBAMA IS THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER.
    THANK YOU GOD!

    January 26, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. john

    From the level of intelligence of some Americans here; based on thier postings.. I'm think America has one of the largest pool of illitrators (wink wink).

    January 26, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Jason

    WHY...............................Can't we All get along!!!! O wait we can't we're still Clinging to our Guns !!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. Caligirl

    Right Wing outrage on...1..2..3

    January 26, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. THE OLD TIMER

    my how fast you can move to make something right....IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

    January 26, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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