Obama's Kenyan Aunt Granted Asylum In U.S. : The Two-Way President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt who had overstayed her legal residency no longer has to worry about being deported, after being granted asylum by an immigration judge. The information about Zeituni Onyango successful asylum petition reportedl...
NPR logo Obama's Kenyan Aunt Granted Asylum In U.S.

Obama's Kenyan Aunt Granted Asylum In U.S.

President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt who had overstayed her legal residency no longer has to worry about being deported. She was granted asylum by an immigration judge.

President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt, Zeituni Onyango, was granted asylum to remain in the U.S.> Josh Reynolds/AP Photo hide caption

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Josh Reynolds/AP Photo

The information about Zeituni Onyango successful asylum petition reportedly came from her lawyers, according to wire reports. Onyango is a half-sister of the president's father, also named Barack, who died in 1982.

Reports Monday didn't include why she sought asylum or the reason it was granted.

Onyango was ordered deported in 2000 but never left the U.S.

Her illegal U.S. residency came to light in a very public way shortly before the 2008 presidential election when a report surfaced that she was living in Boston in a public housing.

The timing of the revelation raised suspicions of a pre-election dirty trick. But it appeared to have no effect.

The Obama campaign at the time said Onyango's famous nephew didn't know she was in the country illegally and wanted the law to be followed.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked for a reaction to Onyango getting asylum:

REPORTER: Quickly, any reaction to, apparently, an immigration court in Ohio has just granted asylum to the president's aunt?

MR. GIBBS: This is -- this is an issue I think that first came up some -- at some point during the campaign. The president was clearthat this is an issue that is -- that he was not aware of and should be dealt with through the necessary legal proceedings. You're telling
me for the first time what the decision is. We had no involvement in that, and that's something that we've always said should be dealt with through the normal course of how these cases are determined.