Sara Nathan, Daily Mail (London), November 6, 2012
Standing behind the liquor store counter the man quietly and anonymously goes about his job serving customers.
He had arrived for his shift promptly at 3pm after filling up his gleaming silver Toyota Rav 4 with gas and taking out the trash at his modest two-storey yellow clapboard house in a downtrodden Massachusetts neighbourhood.
This a fascinating glimpse into the life of Onyango ‘Omar’ Obama, 68, the half-uncle of Barack Obama – and an illegal immigrant who Mitt Romney has already signalled should be deported if he wins his bid for the Presidency today.
Last year, it was reported that Obama, 68, had been a fugitive from deportation since 1992 after moving to the U.S. decades ago.
His whereabouts had been unknown for years, but last August he was arrested for driving under the influence and other motoring offences after swerving in front of a police cruiser and nearly causing an accident.
Going through his files police found he had violated an order to go back to his native Kenya 20 years ago and, according to a police report, told officers: ‘I think I will call the White House’.
He was quietly released from jail last September and the immigration agency refused to discuss his case, which is still believed to be pending.
After receiving a 45-day driving suspension, Obama was allowed to renew his diving licence in May, following a court hearing in March.
But he remains a political hot potato and when asked if he would deport Obama, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he most certainly would.
During an interview with radio personality Howie Carr last December, Romney said: ‘Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws.
‘The answer is yes’.
Now the half-uncle of Romney’s great rival is worried about his fate if the GOP candidate wins.
A regular customer of the shop where he works in Framingham, said: ‘He won’t talk about it, but he is watching the election very careful, and is very worried about the results.
He added: ‘Obama certainly lives a life that is a world away from President Barack Obama.
‘The house he lives in, with its tatty curtains, could do with some sprucing up, it’s clear he doesn’t have a lot of cash.’
Onyango, referred to in President Obama’s 1995 book Dreams From My Father as ‘Uncle Omar’ is the younger half brother of the President’s late father, Barack Obama Sr., a scholar from Kenya who was rarely in his son’s life.
In the autobiography, President Obama said he was ‘the uncle who left for America 25 years ago and had never come back.’
Born in Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya, his father Onyango is President Obama’s paternal grandfather, while his mother Sarah is Onyango Sr’s third wife, who although she is not a blood relative, is referred to by the U.S. President as ‘Granny Sarah’.
Onyango Jr moved to America in 1963 as part of Tom Mboya’s Airlift Africa project, where Kenyan students were flown to the U.S. to study at American universities.
His life is detailed in The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father by reporter Sally H. Jacobs
Onyango Obama was accepted at a boys’ school then known as Browne & Nichols, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to Jacobs’s book.
Back then, the younger Obama was known as Omar Okech Obama, and he was described in the book as tall and good-natured.
According to the book, he stood out as apparently the only African student at the preparatory school, where boys wore blazers to class.
For reasons that are unclear, Obama left the school after two years and enrolled in the Newton public schools in the fall of 1965.
By then, his older brother had returned to Kenya, and without him, Obama appeared to falter.
He dropped out of school and changed his name to O. Onyango Obama, according to the book.
For a while, he lived in an apartment on Perry Street in Cambridge that became a well known meeting place for Kenyan students.
It is unclear what happened to him next – a relative described him to the future U.S. president during his trip to Kenya as being ‘lost’ according to the president’s memoir.
But Obama resurfaced in 1994, when he was apparently the clerk on duty at a Dorchester convenience store as two masked men burst in, beat him with a sawed off shotgun, and robbed him, according to Jacobs’s book.
He managed to keep a low profile for almost 20 years, until he steered his white Mitsubishi SUV outside the Chicken Bone Saloon last August.
Police said he had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent, which is above the legal limit of 0.08 in Massachusetts.
Parimal Patel, his boss at Conti Liquors, said Obama earned about $1,300 a month and was never any trouble.
Patel said Obama presented a valid Social Security number when he applied for the job and told the Boston News last year: ‘He never talked about his immigration status.
‘It never crossed our minds, he had a W-2 and everything.’