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April 01, 2009

Friends in High Places: Judge Allows Obama's Illegal Aunt to Remain in Country Until at Least 2010

A nation of men, not laws. I'm glad we finally got that one right.

Zeituni Onyango, the Kenyan aunt of President Obama, emerged this morning after a brief, closed-door hearing in US Immigration Court in Boston and smiled broadly.

"Praise God," Onyango said softly, holding her head high as she was surrounded by a throng of men in suits.

Judge Leonard I. Shapiro continued Onyango's case until Feb. 4, 2010, which allowed her to stay in the United States until at least that date, according to Fatimah Mateen, a spokesperson for the court. At the initial appearance, the judge explained the deportation charges against Onyango and detailed her rights. Mateen briefed reporters in the lobby of the courtroom, standing beneath a framed photograph of Onyango's nephew, President Obama.

"Ms. Onyango's case is being treated just like any other case before an immigration judge," Mateen said.

Onyango plans to apply for permanent residency in the United States, according to Mike Rogers, a spokesman for Onyango's lawyers, whose legal strategy remains unclear.

"The decision as to Ms. Onyango's request to stay permanently in the United States will be made during a second hearing," Rogers said.

JackStraw says to read the comments, which are harder-edged than one might expect in the Boston Globe. But, of course, everything on the internet is national, and one can imagine that rightwing blogs are highlighting this while Gleen Grenwald, Defender of the Constitution, is entirely silent.

Still, here's a representative comment:

Obama stayed out of the case huh?

Two other hearings she was ordered deported....this time all of a sudden the rules changed?

Laws are for little people who don't know any big people.

JackStraw says that Obama's popularity won't last long. I don't know if he'll ever become decidedly unpopular -- he has 46% who will sing his praises even if he accidentally blows up the earth. But I can see his job approval sinking down to that danger-zone 50% level.

How far can you coast on charm? I hope not very far. But alas far enough to get you into a position of enormous responsibility.

Speaking of things that seemed crazy-funny at the time but now seem pretty meh.



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posted by Ace at 05:45 PM

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