*President Barack Obama’s aunt, an illegal immigrant from Kenya, pleaded for political asylum Thursday during a federal immigration hearing in Boston, reports the Associated Press.
Zeituni Onyango, 57, testified for 2-1/2 hours today in her second attempt to secure asylum after ignoring a 2004 deportation order
Two other witnesses, both doctors, were testifying in support of Onyango, whose case was based on medical grounds and fears of “tribal violence” in Kenya, her attorney, Margaret Wong, said.
It was not clear whether Judge Leonard Shapiro would make a ruling at Thursday’s closed-door hearing.
Wong said Onyango would appeal if she is ordered to be deported. The US government also has the right of appeal.
Despite having lived illegally for years in Massachusetts, Onyango was only unearthed by the US media in 2008 only days before Obama’s November election. The White House said the president was unaware of her illegal status and only found out about her status in early November 2008.
“We said then and we would continue to say that everybody in this country should and must follow the law,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, adding that neither Obama nor the family had helped with Onyango’s legal representation. “We have not been involved at all in that hearing and will let the law play out as it should,” Gibbs said.