This morning Zeituni Onyango testified in court in Boston in her own deportation case, pleading with the United States to allow her to remain in the country. While Onyango would not comment after the appearance, she was seen walking with a cane around the John F. Kennedy building downtown. Her lawyers said that two doctors will be called to testify in her case, but that her nephew President Obama himself has not submitted a letter in her support. Onyango has been under a deportation order since 2006, when Obama was a senator. This trial is an effort to get that order repealed.
Obama is related to Onyango through his father, who is her half-brother. Obama and Onyango met for the first time in 1988 during a trip to Kenya. An excellent history of the president’s far-flung family is available in Tristan McConnell and Andrew Rice’s New York profile from last fall, in which the writers point out that the current legal scrutiny around Onyango can probably be traced to reporters snooping for a scoop about the presidential candidate. Her supporters argue that Onyango, a retired computer programmer, may be put in harm’s way because of her famous relative if she returns to Kenya.