Update May 17th, 2010: Zeituni Onyango is granted asylum in the US, here.
Update Dec. 31st: After I recently read Obama’s “Dreams from my father” I concluded there is no way Obama didn’t know she was in the US, she is not a bit player but an important part in the Obama family story.
Update Nov. 9th: Aunt Zeituni will fight deportation.
Update Nov. 2nd: No dirty tricks just good investigative journalism, see the latest here.
Update: Obama campaign claiming dirty tricks by Bush Administration.
You probably guessed it from the story at the Times that Judy reported the other day, but AP (yes AP!) is now reporting that Obama’s Auntie Zeituni entered the US illegally, sought asylum and was denied. Four years ago she was ordered deported! Hat tip: Blulitespecial
WASHINGTON (AP) – 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 U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to discuss Onyango’s case.
Information about the deportation case was disclosed and confirmed by two separate sources, one of them a federal law enforcment 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.
Why would any of the three, Bush, McCain or Obama, officially make this information available? All three are complicit in our disastrous immigration policy and this is the first time the subject of immigration has come up in this entire overly long Presidential campaign.
The disclosure about Onyango came just one day after Obama’s presidential campaign confirmed to the Times of London that Onyango, who has lived quietly in public housing in South Boston for five years, was Obama’s half aunt on his father’s side.
Did you hear Rush Limbaugh play excerpts of the audio version of Obama’s “Dreams from my Father” yesterday where Obama says that Auntie Zeituni didn’t have a government support system in Kenya if things got tough, they had only family to fall back on! It was hilarious! How come Obama isn’t taking care of his family? We know why now, the US taxpayer has been taking care of this family member.
It was not immediately clear how Onyango might have qualified for public housing with a standing deportation order.
The difference between refugees and asylees is that refugees are screened in advance of being admitted to the US and we pay their airfare. Asylees are people who come to the US illegally and then seek legal status by claiming and being required to prove that they have been persecuted for one of many reasons and thus have a fear of returning home. We have an entire cottage industry of lawyers being trained in law schools across America to serve as immigration lawyers for asylees.
Asylees are treated as refugees with all the perks, welfare, housing, food stamps, medical treatment as a refugee. I guess in Massachusetts they never bothered to check if her asylum status had been denied, or more likely they knew it and ignored the deportation order—any surprise?
One last point, in the earlier story at the Times, Auntie Zeituni admitted:
It is not clear when Ms Onyango first came to the US. She said: “I have been coming to America ever since 1975. I always come and go.”
So in all those trips back and forth to the US, for 33 years, no one ever spotted her as an illegal alien!
I guess the pressing next question is, where is Uncle Omar?
More here: Obama campaign flabbergasted yesterday.