President Barack Obama will not intervene in his uncle’s deportation case, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently told reporters.
Carney said the president was not aware his uncle, 67-year-old Onyango Obama, had been arrested and faced possible deportation until he was briefed on the situation days after it occurred.
The case will be handled like any other immigration enforcement proceeding, Carney said.
Onyango Obama, the half-brother of President Obama’s father, was arrested on August 24 in Framingham, Massachusetts, where he is a long-time resident. Police stopped him and administered a Breathalyzer test after he nearly hit a police car at an intersection. He reportedly failed the Breathalyzer and, after being taken into custody, said he would call the White House for bail.
Authorities discovered an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency order for his arrest and deportation. He entered the United States on a student visa but dropped out of school, and has been living in the country for nearly 50 years.
Oyango is being held in custody on an immigration detainer. The Heartland Alliance, an immigration rights group, recently sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, saying detainers are unconstitutional because they require state and local governments to enforce federal law.