Onyango Obama, the 69-year-old half-brother of President Barack Obama's late father, is scheduled to appear at a deportation hearing in Boston on Tuesday, where he will argue that he should be allowed to remain in the United States. The president's uncle has lived in the United States since the 1960s, despite orders to leave the country, and made headlines in August 2011, when he was arrested on drunken driving charges by Massachusetts police. "I think I will call the White House," he famously told police then. The White House has said it expects the case to be handled like any other immigration case, according to the Associated Press.
The AP notes that the president's memoir, "Dreams from My Father," refers to an Uncle Omar with a similar background to that of Onyango Obama and shares Onyango's date of birth. Margaret Wong, the Cleveland-based immigration attorney who is set to represent him on Tuesday, called him a "wonderful older gentleman." According to the Boston Globe, he came to Massachusetts as a teenager to attend an elite boys school in Cambridge before dropping out and disappearing. He currently works as a liquor store manager.
In the drunk driving case in 2011, Obama did not plead guilty but admitted to "sufficient facts", an acknowledgment that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. A judge said he would let the case continue for a year without a finding and dismiss the charge if Obama was not arrested again during that period. Wong told the AP that Obama had completed that program. "He has earned his privilege to stay in the United States. He has been here for 50 years," she said Tuesday before the hearing. The Boston Globe writes that Boston immigration judge Leonard Shapiro, known as tough among many of his colleagues in the city and nationwide, will hear Obama's case. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, an organization at Syracuse University which seeks out and publishes statistics on immigration on the federal and state level, Shapiro rejected 59 percent asylum claims brought before him from 2007 to 2012, a rate higher than the national average. At Obama's initial hearing in January, his then-lawyer Scott Bratton said he would seek a green card for his client based on a section of immigration law which allows immigrants to seek a green card if they got to the US before 1972.