As was reported by CNN, Onyango Okech Obama — an uncle of President Barack Obama who has been in the United States illegally for decades — has gotten a federal court’s OK to stay in his adopted country, according to an attorney representing the uncle.
Federal immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro in Massachusetts agreed without argument Tuesday to allow the uncle, who has been living and working in U.S. for 50 years, to stay and obtain a green card.
At the hearing, the judge looked at Onyango Okech Obama’s character, reviewing his long-term employment with a grocery store in Framingham, Massachusetts, his tax records and his rent payments, and noting that he is not on any government assistance programs.
Shapiro also took into account federal immigration law that allows people who came to United States before January 1972 to apply for residency, because Onyango Okech Obama has been living in U.S. since October 1963. This Immigration Law is called Registry.
Registry is a section of immigration law that enables certain individuals who have been present in the United States since January 1, 1972 the ability to apply for a green card (permanent residence), even if they are currently in the United States unlawfully. The provisions of the law allow an applicant to apply for a green card if the following conditions are met:
• You entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
• You have resided in the United States continuously since January 1, 1972
• You are a person of good moral character
• You are not ineligible for naturalization (citizenship)
• You are not removable (deportable), nor inadmissible as a criminal, procurer, other immoral person, subversive, violator of the narcotics laws or alien smuggler
Apparently Federal Judge found that president Barack Obama’s uncle satisfied all of the conditions to qualify for Registry and allowed him to remain in the U.S. and apply for a green card.
In his testimony before the judge, as CNN is reporting, Onyango Okech Obama mentioned that Barack Obama stayed with him for three weeks during the future president’s student days, after he was accepted into law school.
In 2011, Onyango Okech Obama was arrested on drunk driving charges, and ordered to regularly check in with immigration, according to Brian P. Hale, then director of public affairs for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At the time of that arrest a federal law enforcement source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the defendant was not legally in the United States and had been previously ordered removed from the country.
However, federal immigration authorities have 30 days to appeal Judge Shapiro’s ruling.