Barack Obama’s aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned.
Zeituni Onyango, 56, referred to as “Aunti Zeituni” in Obama’s memoir, was instructed to leave the United States by a US immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorised to discuss Onyango’s case.
Information about the deportation case was disclosed and confirmed by two separate sources, one of them a federal law enforcement official. The information they made available is known to officials in the federal government, but the AP could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved in its release.
Onyango’s refusal to leave the country would represent an administrative, non-criminal violation of US immigration law, meaning such cases are handled outside the criminal court system.