President Barack Obama's uncle allowed to stay in the US

Asked about his family, Onyango Obama told the court: 'I do have a nephew. Barack Obama. He's the president of the United States'

President Barack Obama's uncle has been granted permission to stay in the US, despite ignoring a deportation order more than two decades ago.

Judge Leonard Shapiro said Onyango Obama, a 69-year-old who has lived in the country for more than 50 years, "appears to me to be a gentleman," citing a law that entitles immigrants to permanent residency if they arrived before 1972, have lived there since and are of good moral character.

Mr Obama's immigration status didn't become public until his 2011 drunk driving arrest in Framingham, 20 miles west of Boston. The charge was dismissed after he completed a year of probation and 14 weeks of alcohol education classes.

The judge said he considered testimony about Obama's character, including letters from people who praised him for being a "kind and decent person," and considered the drunk driving charge and allegations of discrepancies in what he told immigration officials 20 to 30 years ago.

Mr Obama, who was born in Kenya, is the half-brother of the President's late father. He entered the country on a student visa in 1963, and after a series of immigration hearings in the 1980s was ordered to leave the country in 1992 but remained.

Obama told the judge he had led a quiet, simple life, graduating from high school in Cambridge, then attending Boston University, where he received a degree in philosophy. He said he has worked for years as a manager at a family-owned liquor store in Framingham. He also said he has worked for decades to help African immigrants find housing and settle in the US.

He added that he had been a hard worker, paid income tax and been arrested only once.

Asked about his family in the US, he said he has a sister and two nieces, then added, "I do have a nephew." Asked to name the nephew, he said, "Barack Obama. He's the president of the United States."

He described America as "a land of opportunities, a land of chances."

Onyango Obama's lawyer, Margaret Wong, called him a "wonderful older gentleman."

She said: "He has earned his privilege to stay in the United States. He has been here for 50 years." Mr Obama could get US citizenship after five years, she added.

After the hearing, Obama quickly left the courthouse without speaking. Wong said he didn't receive any special treatment and was happy with the judge's decision.

Obama testified that President Obama stayed with him for three weeks in Cambridge while at Harvard Law School.

In the President's memoir, "Dreams from My Father," he writes about his 1988 trip to Kenya and refers to an Uncle Omar, who matches Onyango Obama's background and has the same date of birth.

There was no immediate comment Tuesday from the White House, which has said it expected the case to be handled like any other.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried