Anyone familiar with the deportation abyss, which I’ve reported on for years, will not be surprised by the immigration court ruling in Obama’s illegal alien/fugitive aunt Zeituni Onyango’s case today. She’s getting yet another reprieve after defying judicial orders to leave the country.
Only in America, my friends:
Zeituni Onyango, the Kenyan aunt of President Obama, emerged this morning after a brief, closed-door hearing in US Immigration Court and smiled broadly.
“Praise God,” Onyango said softly, holding her head high as she was surrounded by a throng of men in suits.
Judge Leonard I. Shapiro continued Onyango’s case until Feb. 4, 2010, which allowed her to stay in the United States until at least that date, according to Fatimah Mateen, a spokesperson for the court. At the initial appearance, the judge explained the deportation charges against Onyango and detailed her rights. Mateen briefed reporters in the lobby of the courtroom, standing beneath a framed photograph of Onyango’s nephew, President Obama.
“Ms. Onyango case is being treated just like any other case before an immigration judge,” Mateen said.
Alas, there is much truth in this.
Auntie Zeituni is waiting for shamnesty:
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Onyango plans to apply for permanent residency in the United States, according to Mike Rogers, a spokesman for Onyango’s lawyers. While the lawyers’ legal strategy remains unclear, Rogers said he was instructed not to use the word asylum.
“The decision as to Ms. Onyango’s request to stay permanently in the United States will be made during a second hearing,” Rogers said.
A security detail hurried her past photographers and a throng of reporters, whisking her in and out of the court without using the public entrances to federal building next to City Hall. Onyango wore a curly, rust-colored wig in what may have been an effort to hide from the media and walked with a cane, a consequence of back problems.
The hearing, which was closed at Onyango’s request, lasted less than 15 minutes and took place in a small, boxy courtroom with a red rug and nine benches. The third-floor room overlooks City Hall Plaza, where a white circus tent was visible below.
Lawyers for Onyango said yesterday that they planned to present new evidence seeking to reverse a 2004 deportation order and allow her to stay in the United States. The lawyers would not discuss their strategy, such as whether they would focus on her numerous health problems, political unrest in Kenya, or another issue.The former computer programmer, whom the president called Auntie Zeituni in one of his books, is battling a neurological condition in addition to her back problems.
The half-sister of Obama’s late father had applied for asylum in the past but lost. Since then, she has been living illegally in the United States, most recently in a South Boston public housing development.
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