Boston, MA - Obama's Aunt Living in U.S. illegally. Obama: I Was Not Aware Of It.
Boston, MA - Barack Obama’s aunt, revealed this week to be dwelling in a Boston slum, is living in the United States illegally, refusing to leave the U.S. for her Kenyan homeland when a judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, the Associated Press is reporting.
A person familiar with the case told AP that 56-year-old Zeituni Onyango was told to leave America by a U.S. immigration judge in 2004.
Two separate sources, one of them a federal law enforcement official, disclosed and confirmed information about the deportation case.
Speaking to a reporter with the London Times, outside her home, Zeituni Onyango, 56, confirmed she was indeed the “Auntie Zeituni” so affectionately described in Obama’s best-selling memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”
In the memoir, Obama wrote: “If Jane or Zeituni ever felt ill, if their companies ever closed or laid them off, there was no government safety net. There was only family, next of kin, people burdened by similar hardship. Now I was family, I reminded myself. Now I had responsibilities.”
Onyango declined to answer most other questions about her relationship with the presidential
contender until after the Nov. 4 election.
“I can’t talk about it, I just pray for him, that’s all,” she told the Times, adding: “After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”
Obama campaign spokesman Reid Cherlin confirmed to the Boston Herald yesterday that Onyango, who lives on Flaherty Way in South Boston, is Obama’s aunt on his father’s side.
The AP could not reach Onyango immediately for comment. It was unclear why her request for asylum was rejected in 2004.
It was not immediately clear how Onyango might have qualified for public housing with a standing deportation order.
Boston Housing Authority spokesman Bill McGonagle told the Herald she received a small stipend over the past year for working six hours a week as a volunteer resident health advocate in her complex.
“Auntie Zeituni” recently made a $260 campaign contribution to her nephew’s presidential bid from a work address in the city. She proudly displays photos of Obama, including some that appear as old as 25 years, inside her first-floor apartment, McGonagle said.
A message left at Onyango’s apartment was not returned.
McGonagle asked that the media respect Onyango’s privacy.
“She is feeling very put upon,” he said.
The Obama campaign responded: “Sen. Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws should be followed,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
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