May 17th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Judge rules Obama's aunt can stay in U.S.

President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt can stay in the United States, a U.S. immigration judge has ruled, ending a more than six-year legal battle over her status.

Judge Leonard Shapiro made the decision Friday, court officials told CNN. Two government sources confirmed Monday that the ruling will give legal status to Zeituni Onyango, allowing her to remain in the country.

Onyango's attorneys plan to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. in Ohio.

Onyango, who is the half-sister of the president's late father, applied for political asylum in 2002 due to violence in her native Kenya. She was a legal resident of the United States at the time and had received a Social Security card a year earlier.

Onyango's asylum request was turned down in 2004, and she has been living in the United States illegally since then. She appealed the rejection of her request twice, but was denied each time and ordered to leave the country.

Judge Shapiro gave Onyango permission to remain in the United States in April 2009 while he considered her case.

In February, Onyango arrived at an immigration court in a wheelchair and testified before the judge for more than two hours, her representative, Amy Cohn, told CNN at the time. Two doctors, including her personal physician, also testified on her behalf. Onyango's medical condition was part of her legal defense against expulsion.

White House officials said during the appeals that Obama was staying out of the matter.

"The president believes that the case should run its ordinary course," the officials said.

Onyango's immigration status came to light in the final days of the 2008 presidential race.

soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. Don Quito

    I was mad at BP before this story hit....I now know who the bigger villian is...OBAMA's Aunt!!!!

    SHe is causing WAY MORE DAMAGE. SHe needs to be hit in the head with a frying pan then fried up and eaten by cannibals!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Don Quito

    I HATE OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARRRGGGGGHHHH.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. k

    Another typical illegal on the welfare role. Was anyone really surprised? November can't get here soon enough, both in 2010 and 2012. Maybe the next President can boot her worthless welfare mooching ass out along with the rest.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don Quito

    I think he is making me have a mental his Aunt..I can't take it...there are too many coloreds in this world!!! I am tho scared. It is like a pelican is following me at all times but I know the dark suit he wears is just a cover for a big hungry Polar Bear. They will take my trailer. I know it. The government will take my trailer home and my clothes line!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Don Quito

    He is the anti-Christ....he pastor said so.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Don Quito

    He is like anti-matter...OMG..I am losing it folks..I don't know what is up or down...Who to believe.

    I mean Rush..his house was 13 million but he is the "normal" everyday man. I think...I don't know...They just all seem to lie...and I thikn they should...OHHH POLAR BEAR!!!! RUN..

    And kick this old lady when you see her. Stupid wh0r3 bag!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tony

    Wow... wow. So all you negative posters are implying that this is Obama's agenda, and that he helped her stay in the country. He did all this publicly, while simultaniously she lived in poverty... Yep, that corrolates logicly. Sounds like he was intimately involved in her life.

    Seriously, if he were involved, wouldn't you think he would be helping her out in other aspects of her life?

    And just really quickly. To the person who said she was "fast traked", it was 6 years. To the person who doesn't read and thinks she is his half-sister, learn; she is his mother's half-sister and estranged from what I know (but then I take the time to at least look into something before I rant like Beck).

    May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sinmiedo68

      Hey- She was bidding her time!! –Really I dont care if the lady stays or goes. We allow some really disgusting people to stay in the US anyway. But lets be realistic – Would you deport the Presidents relative? I dont care if you are Republican or Democrat you would not!!! (and neither would I!!!)

      May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gia

    Race! Race! Race! I'm on the miss USA pageant and can u believe they turned her Arab heritage into a race/ immigration issue? Have mercy! Disgusting!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don Quito

    She should seriously be dragged outsided by horses with ropes tied to her legs and stoned to an inch of her life.

    After that we should all go up and spit in her mouth and kick her in the teeth. Then we should take her wheel chair and roll her down a giant hill with razor wire at the end. After that pour salt and alcohol in her wounds. Then we could cut her hair and make little Chia Dolls out of it. After that we pinch her toes really hard. Lastly we put her on a cross like our hero and do God's Will!!!! Happy Prayers Everyone. See you down below!!!!! I wish the Indians shipped us back then this land would actually be the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" Now it just "Land of the Hate, and Home of the paranoid"

    God Bless America....Duh Duh Duh Duh...God Bless America

    May 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sinmiedo68

    OH OBAMA IS A WUZZ– we need CHAVEZ! CHAVEZ! CHAVEZ!! - Then we will have CITGO instead of BP and we will deport all Bush followers! (and tea partiers and anyone else the left dont like) only then we will know Nirvana

    May 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alf

      Now you are otro loco we don't want in Mexico. Bring dolares or credit card.

      May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alf

    Quito, hombre....chill. I mean Chile con carne, chulapa, good stuff.

    Who is tu pastor Jerry Lewis Wright? Now that hombre (Rev Wright) can hate! You are turning in to that "Rev" Wright.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Don Quito

    Just proving a point my brother!! I love Kenyans, Mexicans, the wretched and the weary.

    However, I actually try to live my life in the name of Christ and I am the odd one that actually believes in the teachings of our Lord.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alf

      Don, call 911 tu estas muy mal. Tu need medical, you now, the good stuff.

      Holi vaca, talk about fried green tomatoes. Mi hermano, you lost it.

      May 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Don Quito

    That was all sarcasm..................I think we have bigger fish to fry in this world but people are really uncentered in their own minds right now. Scary time to be an American.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alf

      Don, Go to Canada. We have lots of locos here to add one more. Plus Yo no pago tus medical cost.

      Don't stop the meds.

      May 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony

    You people do know that most asylum applicants are put on welfare and given public housing subsidies, right? It was likely set up by the government, not by her. That is what they do in those cases, for any asylum case. Have a buddy from Romania who said they did the same thing for his parents when they came in 1992.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cheska

    I'm sure just knowing she is Obama's aunt could have pushed her case along. But guess what, that is the JUDGE'S fault, not Obama's or her's. It's possible for Obama to stay out of it but have the judge give a biased ruling because, idk, the latter wanted to get on the President's good side.

    Also, what people don't understand is there's always room for an appeal. If she filed an appeal, she can stay until the case clears or until there is a ruling. I'm no expert, but I know sooo many people who got to stay because they kept appealing.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
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