Author Topic: 'She was an awesome, funny, shrewd and smart lady': Barack Obama's aunt who lived in the U.S. illegally for 10 years dies at 61  (Read 273 times)

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Offline happyg

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Zeituni Onyango was born under a mango tree in Kenya
She was the half-sister of Barack Obama's late father
Onyango moved to the U.S. in 2000 but was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004
She continued to live in a public housing complex in Boston
Obama did not step in to help with the immigration case so as to not abuse his political power
She was finally granted asylum in 2010

Onyango died of Tuesday in a Boston rehabilitation center aged 61
She had been battling cancer and respiratory problems for the last few months

By Ap Reporter

President Barack Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango - who was denied asylum in the United States but remained in the country illegally for years - died on Tuesday at age 61.

Onyango, whose immigration status first hit headlines days before Obama's election in 2008, had been treated in recent months for cancer and respiratory problems, Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong said.

She died in a Boston rehabilitation center, said Wong, who represented her immigration case.

Onyango, a half-sister of Obama's late father, moved from Kenya to the U.S. in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004.

She remained in the country illegally, living in Boston public housing.

She finally was granted asylum in 2010 by a judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to Kenya because of her relationship with Obama.

Onyango was born in Kenya in May 1952 under a mango tree and was delivered by a midwife, Wong said.

She raised a family in Kenya and worked in the computer department of Kenya Breweries, she said.

'She was an awesome, funny, shrewd, smart lady born at the wrong place at the wrong time,' Wong said.

'If she was only born in America or born in more Western open society instead of being bogged down by tribes, lineage and being a woman in Kenya, she could have been anything she wanted to be.'

Mourning: Obama, who is yet to comment on the death of his aunt, did not step in to help with her immigration case so as to not abuse his political power

Wong said Onyango had become ill in January and died early Tuesday morning in her sleep.

The White House, which had no immediate reaction to Onyango's death on Tuesday, had said previously that Obama did not intervene in her immigration case.

Obama, in his memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, affectionately referred to Onyango as Auntie Zeituni and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to Kenya.

She helped care for his half-brothers and sister while living with his father, Barack Obama Sr., in Kenya.

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