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Activist Group Calls for Deportation of Obama's Aunt

By Spencer S. Hsu
An anti-immigration group yesterday called on President Obama to arrest and deport his aunt, appealing to conservative activists to make her case a symbol of his administration's immigration enforcement policies.

"If you do not execute the deportation order for your aunt, then your lip service about the Rule of Law is no CHANGE from George Bush," William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration, said in a written statement.

News organizations reported last fall that Zeituni Onyango, 56, was ordered to leave the country in October 2004 by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya.

However, Onyango, Obama's father's half-sister, is now living legally in the United States. An immigration judge stayed her deportation on Dec. 17, reopened her case requesting asylum on Dec. 30 and set a hearing on April 1 in Boston, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Executive Office of Immigration Review said.

Fewer than half of immigrants are detained while in removal proceedings, the EOIR has reported, although the percentage held grew from 29 percent to 42 percent between 2005 and 2007, the last year for which data are available.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency does not comment on specific cases. However, an ICE official said detention decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and would consider a person's flight risk, threat to the community and available alternatives, as well as national security and humanitarian factors.

A person with no criminal history and who is already in removal proceedings would not necessarily represent a high-priority and would not be routinely arrested, the official said.

The White House declined comment. It has said Obama "has not contacted any government agency regarding Ms. Onyango's case, nor has any representative of the president."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 3, 2009; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Cast of Characters  
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JakeD wrote: "I could easily prove, in a court of law, my legal residence."

It's not hard to prove that you live at St. Elizabeth's, JakeD. If you live somewhere else, I want proof of it. Or I'll refuse to believe you're not an inmate of St. Elizabeth's.

Posted by: nodebris | February 6, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else see the irony of a group called "Americans FOR Legal Immigration" being smeared by the WaPo as an "anti-immigration group"?

Naturally, they make no effort whatsoever to differentiate opposition to ILLEGAL immigration from opposition to ANY immigration. Wotta surprise..

Posted by: fredq | February 5, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Alipac appears to be speaking from both sides of their mouth. For one, they claim to be for legal immigration yet Alipac shows complete disregard of the rule of law by advocating that the law should not take its course and that the executive should disregard and interfere in the functions of the judiciary. There is a fundamental and long founded reason why the different arms of government exist and why each of the arms were not designed to interfere in the affairs of the other. The facts are that:

1. A judge has legally ruled that the deportation order be stayed.

2. Ms Onyango is in the country legally per the Judge's decision on Dec 17 2008.

Alipac is certainly free to attempt to enjoin itself in the case or file a new one seeking to reverse the judge's ruling instead of engaging in cheap publicity stunts that amount to spinning tires as opposed to accomplishing something.

Alipac's tantrums on this issue only serve to strengthen Ms. Onyango's legal case. Her case was reopened more than likely on the basis of the mischievous public disclosure of her case.

She now has an even stronger case to argue, courtesy of the fact that groups like Alipac continue to make attempts to sensationalize the case and subvert the judicial process. Perhaps Alipac should consider turning this into a nation wide campaign to undermine any ongoing immigration cases currently in the BIA and Federal courts.

Posted by: JJCarpenter1 | February 4, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama, Tear down that wall!

Open the borders. I'm for letting all the immigrants who want to come here just come right on in..., as long as we can deport the gut bucket stupid bunch of "Americans" we have now out of the country on a 1 for 1 basis... Starting of course with a majority of the management, "editors", columnists and reporters of the WaPo. " It's bound to be an improvement.

Hey, paleface! Learn to speak, Choctaw, Apache, Lakota or Cherokee or get your pasty white butt back to England.

Ever So Sincerely,
Mike Adams

Posted by: exomike | February 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I could easily prove, in a court of law, my legal residence. Obama OTOH has refused to provide his long form birth certificate to anyone.

Posted by: JakeD | February 4, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

JakeD thinks Obama is not president because he is an inmate at St. Elizabeth's, that's all. There is no "reason."

He wrote: "No, I am not." He can't prove it, though.

Posted by: nodebris | February 4, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

If anyone is anti-immigrant it is the Washington Post and other liberal media, they support illegal aliens displacing real (legal) immigrants and increasing the waiting times for legal immigrants so much that currently thousands of immigrants die overseas every year before they can even set foot in the US. Pro illegal alien policies which the Washington Post and other liberal media supported has produced these thousands of dead legal immigrants, I would say that is very anti-immigrants.

So why does the media want illegal aliens instead of legal immigrants? Is it because 80% of illegal aliens are from Latin America? Do they agree with the La Raza racists, that Latin Americans are "La Raza Cosmica", a superior "Cosmic" race created by God?

Seems to me the liberal media are anti-immigrant bigots.

Posted by: vinh1 | February 3, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

It's just AMAZING the way these ILLEGAL ALIENS snub their nose at our immigration laws. Just who do these people think they are?

I say get this Zeituni Onyango out of this Country along with the 20 million other ILLEGAL ALIENS!


Posted by: scuncic | February 3, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

William Gheen-You were purposely defamed. The WaPo has a collection of very traitorous Writers who seem to WANT Legally Residing People in this Country, to have our wages, and communities over-run by Foreign Nationals.

In Mexico and many other Countries where these Foreign Nationals are coming from, these Writers would be immediately Targeted!

Here, they get "Ink".

It is NOT an Immigration Issue. It is a BONE-Headed Policy of granting US Citizenship to Offspring of People who do not deserve it, and an EMPLOYMENT Issue, that like a Magnet, draws Un-Documented Workers to usurp the Legal ones-all because the Federal Government REFUSES(As in O'Bomba-who swore he would(Sorta-Depends on which "Swearing in" you believe)) to do!

Got a Lawyer? ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | February 3, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Why not find out what Social Security Number she used to get state and fedral housing. This would be a new News story. It seems U.S.Citizens must use SS# for any help, what about illegal aliens?

Posted by: BigLakeAK13 | February 3, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse


The Oath flub was just icing on the cake -- I am not waiting for him to personally show every voter his birth certificate -- I would be happy if the LONG FORM original is produced in any impartial forum. I certainly cannot presume to answer for McCain or Hillary's campaign. Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Subject: Inaccurate, defamatory, and misleading description in Wash Post Article

Mr. Hsu and Mr Merida:

I request that you immediately change the inaccurate, defamatory, and misleading characterization of our organization Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which is found in line one of Mr. Hsu's article, that calls us "anti-immigration".

You may have noticed that our name is Americans for Legal Immigration, we chose that name so you would not get confused about what we stand for. We also have a wonderful website that has an abbreviated platform complete with more detailed explanations of our platform that shows us in support of immigration and legal immigrants.

We are pro immigration, anti illegal immigration.

Most major national publications refer to us as anti-illegal immigration and we have not seen a mischaracterization of this scale in quite some time.

Please indicate that Mr. Hsu's mischaracterization of us is not just another injection of pro amnesty politics into what is supposed to be a news article adhering to the ethics of journalism by adding the word "illegal" in front of immigration as soon as possible.

Many of our LEGAL Immigrant supporters may be confused by your inaccuracies as well as Americans and LEGAL immigrants that might consider supporting a group like ours if we were not being mislabeled so grotesquely in your publication.

William Gheen
President, Americans for LEGAL Immigration PAC
Post Office Box 30966, Raleigh, NC 27622-0966
Tel: (919) 787-6009 Toll Free: (866) 703-0864
FEC ID: C00405878

Posted by: ALIPAC | February 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama's aunt has made a mockery of our laws by willfully violating for years a court order to leave, and then receiving obvious preferential treatment because she is related to Obama. See this from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department still is requiring high-level approval before federal immigration agents can arrest fugitives, a rule quietly imposed by the Bush administration days before the election of Barack Obama, whose aunt has been living in the United States illegally.

The unusual directive from the Homeland Security Department came amid concerns that such arrests might generate "negative media or congressional interest," according to a newly disclosed federal document obtained by The Associated Press.

The directive makes clear that U.S. officials worried about possible election implications of arresting Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama's late father, who at the time was living in public housing in Boston.

Posted by: swingvoter3 | February 3, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Inherently, if one believes in, and touts, the "rule of law," then one defers to the system we have created, both judicial and administrative. Please read the article. It is clear that a judge has issued a ruling in this matter: "An immigration judge stayed her deportation on Dec. 17, reopened her case requesting asylum on Dec. 30 and set a hearing on April 1 in Boston, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Executive Office of Immigration Review said." So if one posits that all of us should follow the rule of law, and if one stops and considers what that means, it is clear that Pres. Obama's aunt is doing just that, "following the rule of law." She is lawfully awaiting her hearing set for April 1st by a judge. We call all of this due process - it is in the Constitution. If you are purportedly exercised about something "illegal" ( and not just anti-immigrant ) then please, stop ranting and consider what "due process" means, and wait for the legal system we already have established to function.

Posted by: Otney | February 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Can't this reporter deduce from ALIPAC's name (American for LEGAL Immigration) that they are not an "anti-immigration" group? In fact, by supporting legal immigration & opposing ILLEGAL immigration, that makes them in fact pro-immigrant. Anyways, if President Obama is true to his word and believes our laws should be obeyed, he should ensure that his aunt is deported, our existing immigration laws are enforced, and oppose any rewarding of illegal behavior through "comprehensive immigration reform" a/k/a amnesty.

Posted by: swingvoter3 | February 3, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama should set a good example by publicly announcing that he supports enforcing our immigration laws even if it is personally painful. That would be a heroic role model for millions of people demanding their own special treatment.

The dynamic of immigration is humorously but acurately characterized in the following video

NumbersUSA is the hero.

Posted by: wandagb | February 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I am married to a LEGAL immigrant, I am not against immigration as long as it is in accordance to the law. The wonderful quirk about the US form of government is that NOBODY is supposed to be above the law, this includes the presidents aunt. There is a lawful order for her to be deported. This order MUST be carried out or our whole system of government is a failure. She had an unbiased day in court. Any hearings held now would be construed as merely crooked politics, and I believe rightly so. It would be AN ABUSE OF POWER if ANY action other than deportation is taken in regards to Obama's law breaking aunt.

Posted by: cayla99 | February 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

1986 Amnesty was a COMPLETE failure, because Enforcement was not REALIZED and now we have more ILLEGAL ALIENS than every before!

"in the first year of democratic majority rule, Nelson Mandela’s government expelled almost 60,000 undocumented migrants, most of whom were from neighboring Mozambique. " - President Obamas role model. "South Africa has shown that a country determined to put its own citizens’ interests first will deport illegal aliens in numbers. Yet its example is ignored by those who say "it can't be done". The answer is: "Yes it can". It can even be done creatively."

We need the SAVE ACT and E-verify used for every business and NOT Amnesty for criminals.

E-verify does not discriminate against RACE, Religion, SEX or physically capability only your Citizenship and your LEGAL right to be and work in United States. If we can stop Predatory business owners from hiring then the Illegal Aliens will not Stay and return to their native Countries.

This ISSUE is not about RACE, but Governments Federal/State/LOCAL not doing their jobs, because big and small business owners want cheap workers and no labor laws to bother with......Its called GREED!

Posted by: HernandezUSA | February 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

In November 2008, Obama told Katie Couric, "If she is violating laws those laws have to be obeyed. We're a nation of laws. Obviously that doesn't lessen my concern for her, I haven't been able to be in touch with her. But I'm a strong believer you have to obey the law."

Everyone. the problem is that this is the aunt of the President and based on the comment above, she needs to follow the rule of law. NOW, the big problem with this is that she had a hearing in 2004 and was ordered to leave the country or be deported and since then she has lived in the boston housing projects. something that is paid for by taxes. your taxes!!! So with a deportation order from 2004, now all of a sudden its fair for her to have another hearing... I DONT THINK SO!

You and I would not be getting a second hearing if we were caught still in the US. we would be thrown out

Posted by: jweisinger | February 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

PolitiFact called attention to the "broken promise" of the 5 day viewing period on the Lily Ledbetter bill. And, in fact, he did sign it as soon as it came to his desk. I am willing to give him a pass (as did most who commented when PolitiFact categorized it as a broken promise) as the purpose of the 5 day period was to give time for comment, and the Lily Ledbetter bill has been around a long time, is well known, and has received thorough comment.

I would, however, expect a 5 day waiting period for the next one, even whatever "stimulus" bill makes it out of Congress.

Posted by: vklip | February 3, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I think trying to make an example of Obama's aunt is really a silly thing to do. I think he is doing fine by staying out of president he does have the power to grant her a pardon or clemency or even asylum. But instead, he is staying out of it, letting the processes work as intended.

Oh, and I agree with the rest of you that anti-immigration is not the same as anti-illegal immigration, and that the news media should stop trying to make them one and the same.

Posted by: cgallaway2000 | February 3, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, if you are trying to say that Obama is not "President" because he failed to have the 5 day viewing period of a bill, that is just rediculous. I suppose I could get up in arms over this "breaking of a campaign pledge", but since he is the first to even suggest this 5 day period, and the fact that it isn't even a law, this is really a non-issue. Again, sure, it is a campaign promise broken, but I don't know anyone who voted for Obama based on this.

Posted by: cgallaway2000 | February 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: Please explain your comment that Obama is not legally President.

Are you referring to the flub the first time he took the oath of office, or are you still waiting for him to personally show every voter in America his birth certificate.

If it is the latter, I have a question for you. Was McCain's campaign oppo research really so lame that they wouldn't catch this? Or Hillary's? Please.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | February 3, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

As a family member, it augurs well for President Obama to ask his Aunt Zeituni Onyango to return to Kenya and reapply for a proper visa - either as tourist or under the immigration sponsorship program.

On the other hand, to make an issue out of Ms. Onyango is silly, if not stupid. It also shows clear intent to embarrass and to harm - and may be taken issue with through or by the media.

Posted by: wwt101 | February 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious that Spencer S. Hsu is not an objective reporter, but simply a biased opinion writer given the fact that he falsely described the group entitled Americans for Legal Immigration as an "anti-immigration group." If he were truly objective, he would have called it an "anti, illegal-immigration group." Also, instead of correctly labeling Obama's Aunt, Zeituni Onyango, an illegal immigrant, he simply labeled her and others who break our immigration laws as immigrants which hides they fact that they have broken our laws. Does Mr. Hsu acknowledge that President Obama said that he believes that his Aunt should follow the law and do as the Judge as ordered? No. As a result, Mr. Hsu is a biased individual pretending to be an objective journalist.

Posted by: InSearchofTruth | February 3, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

No, I am not. For anyone else actually willing to discuss the issues, "President" Obama officially broke his first campaign promise to wait 5 days before signing any bill, so the American people can read the bill and comment on it. What say you?

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

JakeD is an inmate at St. Elizabeth's.

Posted by: nodebris | February 3, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not legally "President" and may even be an illegal immigrant himself. For the record, however, Americans FOR Legal Immigration is not an anti-immigration group, simply an anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant group. There's a difference.

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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