Who is Zeituni Onyango?
Zeituni Onyango is the half-aunt of United States President Barack Obama. Onyango is the half-sister of Obama's late father Barack Obama, Sr. She is referred to as "Aunti Zeituni" in Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father.
In 2000, Onyango, a native of Kenya, came to the United States illegally and in 2002 sought political asylum in the United States citing violence: Kenya and East Africa have seen an escalation in violence in the 2000s. Her case was denied in 2004 but she remained in South Boston, Massachusetts, and has since retained legal representation. Her case was leaked in the final days of the 2008 U.S. presidential election in which Obama was the Democratic candidate.
Her case became the subject of international media attention highlighting "the hot-button topic of illegal immigration into a race that has largely avoided it" and the contradictory rules governing public housing in Massachusetts. It also sparked an investigation by the DHS as to how her case was leaked and added heightened administrative review on asylum deportations until after the 2008 general election. Onyango's case is often cited in light of immigration reform efforts of the Obama administration.
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"Zeituni Onyango." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 20 Jan. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/zeituni_onyango>.