President Barack Obama’s aunt, who has been living illegally in the U.S. for years, can stay in the United States until next year while she awaits a decision on her fight against deportation, according to a spokesman for her attorney.
Zeituni Onyango, 56, the half-sister of Obama’s late father, was ordered to leave the country in 2004, but instead made a quiet life in the South Boston public housing projects.
A hearing on an appeal of her deportation was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. today at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, which houses the Boston Immigration Court. The proceedings were closed to the public.
Immigration Judge Leonard Shapiro scheduled a second hearing on her case for Feb. 4, 2010.
Onyango has a lengthy history with the U.S. Executive Office of Immigration Review.
She first visited the U.S. in 1975 when she was 23 and has made several trips between Kenya and the U.S. since then, Rogers said. She received a social security card in 2001, he said. In 2002, she applied for political asylum due to the violence in her native Kenya, Rogers said. In 2004, a federal immigration judge rejected her request and ordered her to leave the country, Rogers said.