Obama's Aunt Is Living Illegally in US

Kenyan aunt's application for asylum was rejected in 2004
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2008 4:31 AM CDT
The door to the public housing complex in South Boston where Barack Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango reportedly lives.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt has been living illegally in the US since 2004, the AP reports. Zeituni Onyango—affectionately referred to as "Auntie Zeituni" in the candidate's memoir—has been living in a Boston housing estate for the last 4 years, despite having been ordered to leave the US after her application for asylum was rejected. Onyango's actions are a non-criminal violation of immigration law.

It’s unclear why Onyango was denied asylum, or how she managed to qualify for public housing anyway. Now that her case has been made public—and apparently in reaction to the political sensitivity of the situation—immigration officials have taken the unusual step of ordering that all deportations before the election be approved by regional directors or higher.