Desperate Asylum-Seeker Zeituni Onyango
With election season approaching, we need to stop and consider the kind of nation we want to be. The case of Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango shows us the way. It’s a tale of obstruction and overt racism in our closed-arms immigration system.
Zeituni came to the US in 2000, has struggled to survive in Boston’s public housing, with public assistance and free health care ever since. In 2002, long after her burdensome red-tape visa expired, she applied for asylum as a discriminated member of Kenya’s Luo Tribe, but was abruptly refused in 2004. She would have to face the Kenyan rage created by British colonial oppression in the 1950′s once again. Her ambition to publish a book of old family recipes was squashed.
She continued to live in the shadows, under the threat of immediate deportation from 2004 until 2008, when some unknown conservative disclosed her immigration status. As of January 2012, ICE was still trying to identify the Tea Party extremists who exposed Zeituni and her relationship to Barack Obama. The unbelievably brave and feisty Zeituni fought back in recorded interviews.
She revealed for all Americans that “the system” had taken advantage of her, that it had an obligation to care for her as an immigrant. The system made it impossible to return to Kenya, and she had contracted Guillame-Barr when she landed here in 2000. Mentioning Jesus and her nephew in the same breath, she disclosed the powers of both men in her world, and in the worlds of most Americans.
In May of 2010, Zeituni’s long nightmare ended in Cleveland. An enlightened non-activist judge in Ohio granted her asylum to remain on public assistance in Massachusetts. The system which ensnared Zeituni Onyango eventually liberated her. Spokesman for President Obama credibly denied that the White House intervened in the case. God bless America!