PHOENIX – President Obama's half-uncle should have been deported almost two decades ago, according to a new report by the Associated Press.
Onyango Obama was arrested last week in Massachusetts for drunk driving. A federal official told the Associated Press Wednesday that an immigration judge ordered Obama to leave the country in 1992 because he was here illegally.
It appears that Onyango Obama has been in the United States since the 1960s, but we don't know what his status was. The judge’s order doesn't mean armed guards escort a person to the plane.
It has been nearly 20 years since President Obama's half uncle was on anyone's radar, then he pulled out of a bar parking lot in Framingham, Massachusetts and is now charged with DUI and on an immigration hold.
“Actually everyday folks get deported from this country and the government will be lucky if most of them return to their home country,” said Professor Glenys Spence from Phoenix School of Law.
Spence said it is a question of manpower and money. There is no way the government can track and deport everyone held on an immigration violation. If they are not a serious criminal they are asked to leave voluntarily.
“To some people that is harsh,” she said. “They have been here for years. They have families of course and jobs, believe it or not. They do not want to leave the country.”
So they don't. As long as they don't have contact with police, it is doubtful anyone is looking for them. Spence cannot answer every question about Onyango Obama.
We don't know if he came to this country on a visa or was granted political asylum. He had a legal social security card and a Massachusetts driver’s license.
“It really puts the spotlight on the lack of enforcement of immigration laws,” said Spence. “I know folks who have bought homes, not one but two and they are here illegally. Again, someone is sleeping at the wheel.”
Onyango Obama pled not guilty to the DUI charge. The White House, ICE and a number of federal agencies haven't commented on the situation.