Published:  December 4, 2013

Earlier this week, Onyango Obama, the half brother of President Obama’s father, avoided deportation back to his native Kenya and was granted permanent resident status by an Immigration Judge in Boston.  Onyango Obama first arrived in the U.S. in 1963 and eventually applied for political asylum here, but was later denied.  His appeal was also denied although he never departed the U.S. or was ever arrested or detained by immigration authorities.  Since the dismissal of his appeal in 1992, he essentially was living in the U.S. knowing that he could get picked up and deported at any time.

Well, the first part came true after he was stopped in 2011 by Framingham, Massachusetts police for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.  Nevertheless, Onyango Obama initiated appropriate legal maneuvers to avoid deportation, availing of a long existing law that allows those who arrived in the U.S. prior to 1972 to be considered for U.S. permanent resident based on their established ties here, and otherwise, good moral character.  In the President’s uncle’s case, an immigration judge determined that except for a couple of hiccups here and there – including a DUI arrest and ignoring a previous deportation order – he met the good moral character standard and other requirements to merit an exercise of discretion and the grant of permanent residence.  The President’s uncle also, no doubt, had a pretty good lawyer at his side.


PUBLISHED December 4, 2013 – “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2013, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois