04 April 2012

US immigration authorities order President Obama’s uncle deported

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President Obama's half uncle has been issued with deportation orders by US immigration authorities and now faces returning to his native Kenya.

US immigration

The immigration case of the President's nephew is likely to maintain an extremely high profile throughout.

Onyango Obama, 67, has been living illegally in the United States for over 40 years and was first issued with deportation orders by US immigration authorities in 1989, and then again in 1992. After failing to leave the country and living undetected in Framingham Massachusetts for almost 20 years, he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in August of last year.

After being held in jail until September, Mr Obama was once again issued deportation orders and now faces the challenge of overturning the order in what is likely to be a high profile case.

Immigration lawyers in Boston, Massachusetts, where Mr Obama was apprehended, believe there are significant grounds to overturn the deportation order.

"His nephew is the leader of the democratic party in the US, and the leader of our political system, so he could argue there could be a lot of people outside the US who could target him," said Desmond FitzGerald, a Boston based immigration attorney.

"In Kenya, they bombed [the US] embassy, so there's probably really good evidence that there are groups that are hostile to our country."

If Mr Obama can successfully overturn the deportation order, he will then have to apply for asylum or another US visa, a lengthy process which could take up to four years and cost as much as $10,000 (£6,300) and it is unclear whether he will be deported at all.

George N Peterson Jr., a Republican member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives said he would be monitoring the case closely.

"My first phone call this morning is going to be to the registrar. Somebody's going to have to do some serious investigation," said Mr Peterson.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the official body responsible for deportations confirmed it would be pursuing the deportation.

"Now that [Mr Obama's] criminal case [for driving under the influence] has completed, ICE has communicated, in accordance with standard procedure, with the attorney of record regarding his removal pursuant to a previous final order by an immigration judge," said an agency spokesperson.


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