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

    Mwai Kibaki is to blame for this.

    THe whole story is this:

    SHe was here to the Boston Marathon. Kenyas win it every year. She finished 3rd place and went to McDonalds. She said that the nuggets were way better than the gazelles and much easier to catch and eat.

    Long story short she liked it here....and here we are....WAAAAAAAAA

    May 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DaMav

    Explain again why I have to pay taxes to support our millionaire President's relatives freeloading off the system when he doesn't offer a single dime to her? And then he lectures us on people earning too much?

    May 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Snacula

    Yes, indeed, more BS from BO. When will it end, you ask? Well, not until there is complete government control over you, your family, and everything you do. This place is getting more and more rediculous each and every day. To all those who voted for this monkey, I hope you rot in hell.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James

    It is ashamed that in 2010 people can not hide their racism. This president can not do anything right for some so say people who love this country. The Tarp that most people are upset about was done by G.W Bush and most of it paid back with interest. The 1.2 trillion that Obama gave out has been paid with the exception of the 700 million share of stock in Citi. The US paid 1.32 per share and can now sale for 4.74 GM is profitable so the US stand to gain 700 billion with the sale of stock purchased in the auto industry. I wish I had made that investment. If you look at what has been accomplished and not the color of his skin some of the comments would not be made.

    Don’t listen to what someone tells you research it for yourself and show you are truly engaged and not just raciest.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snacula

      James, "The president cannot do anything right" comment you made was right on the mark. Too bad my gunsight isn't.

      May 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Where did you get those bogus stats.
      Yes, most of the TARP money has been paid back.
      The cash from the stimulus bill has barely seen any returns yet. Hell, most of it hasn't even been spent yet.
      GM only paid off a 5 year loan early... they still owe over 14 BILLION dollars.

      May 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LIB

    Oh, so what's good for the whites is not good for the Blacks??? If president Obama was 100% white and his aunt was white, it would have been swept under the rug that his aunt was illegal and things would have gone on as is. In other words, we would have never known she was illegal since she was white and she would have continued to stay here even without court proceedings. Payoffs are good when you are white.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Postingboy

      Are you so blinded by your rage that you can't see the problem with rewarding illegals with tax money and/or benefits and never holding them accountable for their criminal acts affects ALL American citizens, no matter their color?

      May 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Don Quito

    DaMav she has been a professor at Harvard for the last 8 years. I think she is paying for your crappy neighborhood.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |


    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ac

    Very good, Mr. President. You just let's know about your changes one more time. Very, very good.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snacula

      It was "change you can count on" NOT "change you can count"

      May 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ed

    Who is this judge? Another stupid liberal? She is an illegal there is no conflict going on in Kenya, My guess is ICE put up a weak prosecution.

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

    Who doesn't believe that the judge didn't want to be the one to rule against the president?

    But why is the millionaire president not taking care of his family? Why are taxpayers paying for her housing? her wheelchair? And we will continue to pay for her now that she is allowed to stay?

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NamVet

    Political asylum denied in 2002. Another Bush wrong righted.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thetruth2010

    But after reading these posts the obama haters are going to hate on the aunt no matter what happens.. One thing i learned is talking to an obama hater is like talking to post. And have as much brains as one too.. so enough said. You all go on hating on obama.. Its not new.. Btw, one thing, since the republicans have been power for 20 years as president over the past 3 years to the dems 12, and most of the time Republicans running the house and senate, why would anyone in their right mind assume that they will fix immigration.. Had 20 years to do so what happened.. Oh thats right the thinking span of the average republican is 15 min.. i got it.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Don Quito

    She also works nights at the local Taco Bell saying to passing customers "yo quiero taco bell"

    May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snacula

      Headline reads "Obama replaces Liberty Bell with Taco Bell".

      May 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. thetruth2010

    past 30 years***** not 3

    May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Don Quito

    She is going to bring the nation to its knees..Where were you guys at when they kept that little Cuban Boy down in Miami?!?!?!?!?!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
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