Obama’s Aunt Granted Asylum, Stopping Her Deportation to Kenya

Fox News, May 17, 2010

A U.S. immigration court granted asylum to President Barack Obama’s African aunt, allowing her to stay in the country, her attorneys said Monday.

The decision was mailed Friday and comes three months after Kenya native Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama’s late father, testified at a closed hearing in Boston, where she arrived in a wheelchair and two doctors testified in support of her case.

The basis for her asylum request hadn’t been made public. People who seek asylum must show that they face persecution in their homeland on the basis of religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.

Her lawyer, Margaret Wong, said last year that Onyango first applied for asylum “due to violence in Kenya.” The East African nation is fractured by cycles of electoral violence every five years.

In a November interview with The Associated Press, Onyango said she was disabled and was learning to walk again after being paralyzed from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

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