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Relative of President Obama facing deportation

An uncle to President Obama has decided to fight deportation proceedings against him, his immigration attorneys told reporters last week. Lawyers for Onyango Obama claim that he should be allowed to stay as he has been in the country for almost 50 years and that the United States is his home.

Despite being a direct relative of the current president, Onyango Obama, the 67-year-old half-brother to the father of the president, is facing deportation after he was recently arrested by police in Massachusetts on unrelated charges.

Immigration laws in the United States have been toughened in recent years and many who are in the country without official documentation are finding themselves in similar situations. Even for a direct relative to the president, it can be an uphill battle.

The elder Obama had been ordered by immigration authorities to leave the United States back in 1992 which he did not do. Lawyers for the man are trying to gather information related to the case and plan on appealing the deportation order.

Originally, Onyango Obama came to the United States with the help of the president's father, Barack Obama Sr. in the 1960s. After a successful start, he dropped out of the Cambridge prep school where he was a student.

By that time, Barack Obama, Sr. had returned to his native land Kenya and not much of his half-brother's history is known other than a brush with the Internal Revenue Service and with immigration officials.

The president's uncle was once a young soccer star with a friendly disposition. After dropping out of school, he lived a quiet life in Massachusetts until he ran into trouble with the IRS in the 1980's for unpaid taxes. There is no record that the tax claims made against were ever settled, the Boston Globe reported.

The same law firm that is representing Onyango Obama was successful in overturning a deportation order against his younger sister, Zeituni Onyango, another relative of the current president. Zeituni Onyango was granted asylum in Boston last year, the Globe reported.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Obama's uncle set to fight deportation," Maria Sacchetti and John R. Ellement, Sept. 1, 2011.

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