asylum

Obama’s Aunt in Boston Immigration Court

As a lawyer specializing in deportation defense who frequently appears in Boston Immigration Court, I find it fascinating that a close family member of the President appeared yesterday in our court before our own Immigration Judge Shapiro. Zeituni Onyango, the Kenyan aunt of President Obama, is in deportation proceedings in Boston as everyone on the populated Earth knows by now.

Of course, asylum applications are confidential. I certainly have no direct knowledge about this case. But my experience as a deportation lawyer in Boston tells me that Ms. Onyango’s immigration case has been widely reported in a way that is quite misleading. The headline of the Boston Globe, for instance, claims that the Immigration Judge allowed Ms. Onyango to stay in the U.S. until February 2010. What is misleading about this headline is that it falsely suggests that the Immigration Judge made a discretionary decision in favor of Ms. Onyango. This is not at all what happened at the hearing yesterday.

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