They say that it is great to know people in high places!
After an immigration judge denied her request for asylum in 2004, Zeituni Onyango disappeared from the radar of the Immigration people. She hid so well that she attended her nephew’s swearing in ceremony in the United States Senate in 2005. Barack Obama’s Aunt Zeituni, in our country illegally, was reported as living in a housing project in South Boston just before the November election.
Obama said that he was unaware that Aunt Zeituni had been denied asylum. However, it appears that just days before the election, presumably to appear as not trying to interfere with the outcome of an election with any negative publicity, ICE was issued a directive regarding Aunt Zeituni. although they state it was intended for “high profile” cases:
The directive from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which was obtained last week by the AP in a Freedom of Information Act request, was e-mailed to ICE agents on Oct. 31 and expressed concerns about “negative media or congressional interest” and ordered ICE agents to seek approval before making arrests.
It seems that Aunt Zeituni’s status is now on hold, as she was able to attend Obama’s Inauguration and an Inaugural Ball, along with Grandma Sara from Kenya and his stepmother Kezia, who now resides in Great Britain. My question is not that she has been granted a change of status in some manner now, but how was she able to fly under the radar for several years given that she had such a high-profile nephew, or is that the answer!
UPDATE: INS reported today that Aunt Zeituni will face an immigration hearing in April, and she has vowed to fight deportation.