(UPDATE) April 1st Court Date Set for President’s Aunt

As you all may remember, President Obama’s Aunt, Zeituni Onyango, was exposed last year as an illegal alien and deportation fugitive. She had resided against court orders in the city of Boston, and visited the Obama home in Chicago at will. She also attended her nephew’s inauguration as President.  After being ordered by the court to leave the country in 2003, lost on appeal, and was again ordered to leave the country in October 2004.  She has quietly resumed her residence in Boston – in taxpayer funded housing.

Ms. Onyango has a new hearing scheduled in immigration court on April Fools Day.

The Boston Globe reports on the update:

President Barack Obama’s aunt, a Kenyan immigrant who ignited controversy last year for living in the United States illegally, has returned to her quiet apartment in a Boston public housing project to prepare for an April 1 deportation hearing that will be closed to the public…

…”The case is unusual in American history because it’s a relative of the president involved in immigration matters,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies. “It really does present the White House with an opportunity or a minefield. If they follow through on a decision that she should go home, that would actually raise the president’s credibility enormously on immigration enforcement.”

Obama has said that he has not had any involvement in the case and that it should run its ordinary course, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said.

Onyango’s fate will play out behind closed doors before Judge Leonard Shapiro in Boston. Onyango’s lawyer, Margaret Wong of Ohio, successfully argued to reopen her case in December and have the proceedings closed to the public, according to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees immigration courts.

Onyango declined two requests for interviews in recent days, and told a reporter to stop wasting her time.

“I’m not happy,” Onyango said, bundled up in a parka against the spring chill as she went to pick up her mail.

Wong has not responded to repeated requests for comment. But her spokesman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in January that Onyango would present new evidence to back an asylum claim. Onyango has lost several attempts to fight deportation, said immigration court spokeswoman Elaine Komis. In 2003, a judge ordered her to leave the country, and she lost on appeal. She tried again, but an immigration judge ordered her deported in October 2004. Komis would not confirm whether Onyango had sought asylum before now because, she said, asylum cases are confidential.

Shapiro, an immigration judge since 1990, rejected 68 percent of asylum requests from 2002 to 2007, higher than the state and national averages, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Asylum seekers must show that they fear persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group.

Still, immigration lawyers said she has a chance because she managed to get a hearing.

We’ll keep you informed of the results of the new hearing.

UPDATE

The hearing was held this morning as scheduled, the results follow:

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AFP) — President Barack Obama’s Kenyan aunt appealed her deportation order at a US immigration court Wednesday and will be able to remain in the country at least another 10 months.

Zeituni Onyango did not speak to reporters as she left the court in Boston through a back door after the brief hearing, which was closed to the public at the request of Onyango’s lawyer.

Onyango, wearing an imitation fur coat and sunglasses, was escorted by Federal Protective Service officers.

The next hearing date is set for February 4, 2010, said Elaine Komis, spokeswoman for the executive office of immigration review at the Department of Justice.

“At that time she will be able to plead her request and generally a decision will be made at that hearing,” said Fatimah Mateen, from the justice department.

Onyango was ordered to be deported from the United States in 2004 but kept living in Boston. In December 2008, following Obama’s election victory, a court allowed her to have the case reopened.

Obama, whose father was Kenyan, and is the first black US president, says he never knew his aunt was living illegally in the United States.

The decision to provide federal officers as an escort and to take Onyango in and out of the court through special entrances reflected “some security concerns,” Mateen said.

It was unclear who paid for her legal team. The government does not provide lawyers in immigration appeals.

Onyango has been living in public housing in Boston since her 2004 deportation order.

She came to court in a dramatic outfit including what appeared to be a wig of curly red and gold hair, sunglasses, and an ankle length coat of black and white fake fur. She walked with a cane.

So this illegal alien and deportation fugitive will continue to enjoy the freedom of the US and public housing.   Did we really think it would turn out any other way?