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. frank from florida

    I don't understand why there are so many hateful comments about this issue. This woman did the right thing. She applied for and was granted political assylum. It was overturned for whatever bureaucratic reason. She appealed. She appealed again as was her rite, and eventually she won. And all of this started long before Obama was even on the national political radar. Fighting for your rites is the american way! We may not agree that O.J.Simpson was not guilty of murdering his wife, but I think we ALL agree that he had his day in court. That's the AMERICAN way, whether or not one agrees with the verdict! Stop the stupid comments!

    May 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. k

    If Onumbnuts, Nazi Pelosi and Dirty Harry Reid thought for a second that these illegals were voting Republican (and they are voting in our elections thanks to Onumbnuts the community organizer and ACORN), they would be first in line to push them onto the boxcars back to Mexico.

    May 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. asf

    America is a joke. You turned your back on God....He'll turn his back on you.....and now you've got Obama and the ungodly liberals running America into the ground. America is sowing what they've reaped...the whirlwind. God is gracious but the time for repentance may be over. Now it may be correction time...Fear God and live.

    May 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. D2D

    America's problems were there before Obama entered office, "thank you Bush!" As for Obama's aunt she is here now so make the best of it.

    May 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cperr57

    SHAME, SHAME, on Obama. With all the $ you have, you can't help your aunt. Well I guess I am not surprised, you threw you grandmother under the bus, why not your aunt. Having said that, what dangers do the aunt fear? Think it is all crap.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cperr57

    What a disgrace Obama is. With all his money he has his aunt living off welfare. SHAME on him. His aunt should have been deported, period. This administration is an embrassement.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      and with all the bush's wealth, taxpayers paid for jeb's crackhead daughter to be brought to rehab (where she was found to be in possesion of crack) and she was never held accountable for it. but then again she is white AND wealthy so she should be excused WITHOUT the consideration of a judge. at least Obamas Aunt went in front of a judge for her so called "crime", and that judge happened to see things her way. maybe obama is going to let ALL black illegals stay. So what if he does. Too many americans are scared of the dark. And yes that was a racial euphamism. maybe if we satrted to concern ourselves with how white america is stripping middle class americans of what little percieved wealth we have, instead of black america that just wants to be heard and respected we might be involved in a fight that will produce a winner instead of feeding into the racial tension that Republicans are cramming down our throats from EVERY media outlet available. And dont think for a second my views mean I am black. No i am not. but I am a minority. A white American that embraces the change that my generation is IMPOSING on the older generation. And we all know snobbish white old money americans hate impositions. TOO FRIKKIN BAD! This IS AMERICA.... NOW! So deal with it.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Juan

    Obama disgusts me!!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      then your name shouldnt be juan

      May 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Public

    How dare they allow her to stay in this country. What is next will Obama appoint her ILLEGAL ALIEN CZAR ?????

    May 18, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • howardroark

      nice going, joe public, he'll probably appoint her by lunchtime...

      May 18, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      at least we could count on her experience. i couldnt even begin to recount the vast supply of ignorant individuals in the bush Admin...... As a matter of fact, the only people who knew what they were doing was the people that were sodomizing the citizens from the inside. His treasurer... and his defense sec.( look em up ) unless you already know them.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ali

    There was no "six-year battle" over auntie's immigration status. She lived here illegally for several years after being ordered deported and made NO effort to re-open her case until AFTER her nephew became President. This case not only shows the failure of this and previous administrations to enforce our immigration laws, but the willingness of lawyers and judges to appease the President, even if no direct request is made. Time for this judge to open the record and let us ALL know what the basis for asylum is.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      When is the last time you picked up a Kenyan newspaper????? If you know so much why arent you famous????

      May 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. howardroark

    which one of our 57 states does she live in? she shouldn't be living on a single taxpayer dollar when obama, who made waaaay more than enough last year with his $5.5m income, could epantsipate a few of his excessive, greedy dollars to give us taxpayers a break on supporting an illegal foreigner.

    she should be forced to join the marine corpse and serve our country in return for the free ride she's had thusfar...

    May 18, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      i dont know what country ur fro but here we only have 52 states.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      oh yeah 54 if you count cuba and haiti. or is that supposed to be canada and hawaii. or puerto rico and mexico. heck i dunno im jest a dum rednik from the bakkwoulds of alleybammer

      May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andy

    If all the immigrants are caught and deported, so should this woman. This just shows how corrupted our president is. His lies to the general public is obvious. Only the mindless ones don't see it and continue to hope that this president will fix our immigration system. His promise was immigration reform in his FIRST year in office. We are heading into the midterm elections and NOTHING has been done. Instead of fighting for our immigration overhaul (which majority of the people want to see, he goes and hide in his shell) he wastes one full year battling for health care, which is widely unpopular among the people. This just shows this president only fight for what he wants, not the people.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      dont be mad at what congress and the senate has done with healthcare... we live in a democracy and those people were voted in BY US to represent US. So if you have a problem with the leadership or how they come to speak for you, vote for someone else next time, write to them with your concerns or go invade a country you think you can take and make your own rules.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sez

    Wow. what is wrong with you people?

    So what... Lets suppose she is not related to Obama, she is just an ordinary immigrant... Im sure this would have not bother most of you alot.. Because its tied to president., its possible to see crappy comments and hatred

    you know what for those ass holes who still nourish hatred in their heart; I hope you have an heart attack 😉

    Peace in the world!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sez

    besides, this country is made up of immigrants

    Oh im sorry, who kicked off native americans from this land

    Oo let me guess, the WHITE folks did

    So everybody shut up, nobody owns this land... Kiss it!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. RodentKing

    How the hell did she get here in the first place. I doubt she swam across.
    Just more corruption from the Obama administration while the working stiffs foot her bill

    May 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      you sound like a RAT. if you mnew how to read she was here legally and her visa expird. Before obama had any pull to keep her her you idiot

      May 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jag

    More cronyism from Herr Obama. Is this really any surprise?

    May 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • im laffin at u all

      im guessing youre white, probably of german descent.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
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