President Barack Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, attended the first immigration hearing regarding her appeal against deportation to home in Kenya. She was given until February of 2010 to appear in court with her legal arguments on why she should be allowed to remain in the United States.
Ms. Onyango had applied for US political asylum in 2002. However, she received a deportation order in 2004 but remained living in the US in a public housing project in Massachusetts.
According to a news report “The proceedings were closed to the press, but Fatimah Mateen, a court spokesperson, gave short briefing after the hearing. The decision as to Ms. Onyango’s request to stay permanently in the United States will be made during a second hearing,” she is quoted by the Boston Globe as saying.
The President, who called her “Aunti Zeituni” in his book “Dreams from My Father,” has said that he was unaware that she was living illegally in the United States.
It is not unusual for an immigration judge to adjourn proceedings for many months given busy court schedules. Any speculation that Ms. Onyango is receiving special treatment as a result of her connection to the President should be kept in check, at least until a final decision is rendered on her deportation appeal.
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