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12-04-2012, 06:27 PM #1
President Obama’s uncle wins new bid to try to stay in US
By Maria Sacchetti
The Boston Globe
December 3, 2012
President Obama’s uncle has won a new deportation hearing in Boston immigration court, more than a year after a drunken-*driving arrest in Framingham revealed that he had violated a longstanding order to return to Kenya.
Last week, the Board of *Immigration Appeals granted Onyango Obama’s request to *reopen his immigration case based in part on his contention that his prior lawyer was *ineffective, according to a government official with direct knowledge of the case. Obama’s new lawyers have also argued that the 68-year-old Obama has lived in the United States for nearly half a century and *deserves a chance to make his case.
Brian P. Hale — spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is prosecuting the deportation — confirmed that the board has reopened the case but declined to elaborate.
The board’s decision raised eyebrows among immi*gration lawyers who say it is difficult to persuade the immi*gration courts to reconsider a case that involves an arrest and a *flagrant violation of a depor*tation order, last issued in 1992.
Framingham police arrested Obama for drunken driving in August 2011, and he later admit*ted in court that prosecutors had sufficient facts to bring the charge against him. But the drunken driving charge will be dismissed as long as he complies with terms of his sentence, including a year of probation that ends in March.
“With an outstanding order and a legally fuzzy plea, it’s pretty unusual for the board to reopen” an immigration case, said Crystal Williams, executive director of the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association. “It’s not unheard of, but it’s pretty *unusual.”
Scott Bratton, one of Obama’s lawyers at the *Margaret Wong law firm in Cleveland, said Monday night: “We are obviously extremely pleased with the board’s decision. This will allow him to pursue his application for permanent resident status.”
Lauren Alder Reid, the courts’ chief counsel for legislative and public affairs, said she could not comment on the immi*gration case or say when a hearing would be scheduled because case information is generally protected by federal privacy provisions, unless the immigrant or his representative *authorizes its release.
Because immigration court records are generally closed to the public, it is unclear what evi*dence the board reviewed to support Obama’s claim that his lawyer was ineffective. The government official who provided the reasons behind the board’s decision spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak to reporters.
However, prior immigration judges’ rulings in Obama’s case obtained by the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Board of Immigration Appeals criticized his lawyer, Joseph F. O’Neil, in 1992 for failing to file a legal brief to support Obama’s *appeal.
“Counsel for the respondent has in no meaningful way identified the basis of the appeal from the decision of the immigration judge,” the board said.
O’Neil, a veteran immigration lawyer and an adjunct law professor, died in 2008. Ralph J. Smith, a former *associate of O’Neil’s who handled Obama’s deportation proceedings before the appeal, said in a phone interview Monday that he did not remember Obama’s case. But he described O’Neil as a strong immigration lawyer with decades of experience.
“When they say ineffective counsel, that’s something that’s being used just to make an *appeal going,” said Smith, now 90 and retired. “It throws the ball over to the other side.”
Obama is the second relative of President Obama to face depor*tation in the Boston immi*gration court. The president’s aunt Zeituni Onyango was discovered in Boston’s public housing in violation of a depor*tation order just before the president won election in 2008. She won asylum in 2010 based in part on the exposure of her case to the public.
On Monday, critics said *Onyango Obama appeared to be getting a special deal. Instead of deporting him, which happens frequently to other immi*grants with deportation orders, Immigration and Customs released him from immi*gration detention. He obtained a federal work permit and a state hardship driver’s license, since his own was temporarily revoked, so that he could return to work at a liquor store.
After his arrest, Framingham police said Obama told them: “I think I will call the White House.”
“He would seem to fit the criteria of someone we would want to remove,” said Ira *Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors stricter limits on immigration. “And yet even in this case the system bends to his will and he gets another hearing.”
The president was not close to his late father’s side of the family, but he wrote about them in his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”
But immigration lawyers said the fact that Obama is related to the president could bolster a potential argument that it would be unsafe for him to *return to Kenya.
“Anyone who’s related to the president of the United States technically is at risk,” said *Matthew Maiona, a Boston immi*gration lawyer.
Obama’s immigration history is a bit of mystery because immigration court files are closed to the public. According to the earlier judges’ decisions obtained by the Globe, an immi*gration judge first ordered him deported in October 1986 because he had no legal basis to stay and no special factors, such as American-*born children, that would allow the judge to let him stay.
Onyango Obama came to America at age 17, in October 1963, to study at an elite boys’ school in Cambridge. According to the judge’s decision, he was supposed to have left the United States by Dec. 24, 1970.
Instead, Obama worked from 1973 to September 1984, when immigration officials found him, according to the court’s decision. In 1989, the judge again ordered him deported, and three years later the Board of Immigration *ppeals dismissed his appeal.
President Obama’s uncle wins new bid to try to stay in US - News - Boston.com
12-06-2012, 04:12 AM #2
Pres. Obama’s Uncle Gets New Hearing on His Deportation
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Brian Hale said that the case for Mr. Obama has been sent to the Executive Office for Immigration Review for reassessment.
Posted by: bowatkin
Onyango Obama, the uncle of President Barack Obama, has lived in the US for quite a while now. But he was asked to leave the country 20 years ago. How he has remained in the country until this time is entirely unclear. He is originally from Kenya and is the half brother of President Obama’s father.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Brian Hale said that the case for Mr. Obama has been sent to the Executive Office for Immigration Review for reassessment. He isn’t telling anyone why the decision was made, since Mr. Obama was set for deportation. He was arrested last year in Massachusetts on a drunken driving charge.
The feds aren’t speaking about why the president’s uncle got what some consider to be preferential treatment on his deportation. His attorney originally said that the deportation order was a technical error. Obama moved to the US when he was a teen and is now 68 years old.
Obama’s sister Zeituni Onyango, who is also the president’s aunt, also won an order to remain in the US.
When he was arrested, Obama was asked if he would like to make a call to arrange bail. ”I think I will call the White House,” he said, according to the police report.
Pres. Obama’s Uncle Gets New Hearing on His Deportation | Black Blue DogU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
12-06-2012, 11:10 PM #3
Obama’s Illegal Alien Uncle May Get U.S. Residency After DUI Scandal
December 5, 2012
In a rare move that indicates President Obama’s illegal alien uncle is receiving special treatment, a national newswire reports that an immigration review board has delayed the deportation of Onyango Obama to determine if he can remain in the United States despite his criminal transgressions.
It’s a highly unusual step for the agency, the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals, to reopen a case like Uncle Obama’s because he has violated previous deportation orders and was arrested for driving drunk in Massachusetts last year. This should be a slam-dunk case in which the illegal immigrant gets deported, in this instance to his native Kenya.
But Uncle O’s nephew lives in the White House so he may get to stay in the U.S. like the president’s illegal immigrant aunt, Zeituni Onyango, who had two deportation orders hanging over her head. In a rare secret hearing, she was granted political asylum in 2010 by the same judge who had previously deported her. The judge’s abrupt reversal remains a mystery because it all took place behind closed doors even though the Justice Department’s immigration court manual—as well as a federal appellate court—says such proceedings should be open.
If Uncle O is rewarded in the same way, it will mark the icing on the cake of special treatment, including the reinstatement of his driver’s license after the DUI arrest. In July Judicial Watch obtained government records that illustrate the special treatment the feds have given the president’s illegal immigrant uncle, who is mentioned in the commander-in-chief’s memoir “Dreams from My Father.”
The documents weren’t easy to obtain because the administration clearly wants to keep details of the case from the public, despite promises of unprecedented transparency. JW had to sue for the information. The records, released by JW in two parts (click here and here to see them), show that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) withheld information on Uncle O’s release from the press and Congress and that the agency curiously permitted him to seek the reopening of deportation proceedings that had been closed in 1992. ICE leadership also tracked the politically sensitive case and granted Uncle O a special stay of deportation.
The records also include an embarrassing internal agency email from Brian Hale, ICE’s Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs, to ICE Director John Morton dated April 1, 2012, titled “Onyango Statement and TP’s [Talking Points].” The email (on page 43) confirms that ICE gave the president’s uncle favorable treatment. JW will continue tracking the case.