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President Obama's uncle facing immigration struggle

All over the United States, immigration issues touch families, including the president's. President Obama's uncle, Onyango Obama, has been fighting an immigration battle for a long time now, but a drunken driving arrest last year brought his case to the attention of authorities and the media.

Onyango Obama was born in Kenya, but he came to the United States in the early 1960s when he was a teenager. At that time, he did what many hopeful young immigrants do: he lived with a host family in the U.S. while he went to school.

In 1992, however, an immigration judge told Obama that he had to leave the U.S. because he didn't renew his application to stay. Obama took measures seeking to reverse that order of deportation, and his attorney (not affiliated with this firm) says the deportation order was based on a technical error.

Last year's arrest for drunken driving added to Obama's immigration troubles. He was not found guilty, but Obama did acknowledge that there was enough evidence for prosecutors to convict him.

He reached a deal with the judge, who agreed to keep the case open for a year without making a final judgment. The drunken driving charge will be dropped if Obama isn't arrested within that time. As part of the deal, he was ordered to attend an alcohol education program.

Now his immigration case has been sent to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and Obama will have a new deportation hearing. Details as to why this was done remain unknown. In any case, the president's uncle, like anyone working toward citizenship or U.S. residency status, will need careful legal guidance to obtain the best results.

Source:, "Obama uncle in Mass. Gets new deportation hearing," Rodrique Ngowi, Dec. 4, 2012

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