The drunken driving arrest of President Barack Obama’s uncle has thrown the White House’s new immigration policies straight into the spotlight.
Now GOP politicians and immigration policy groups are vowing to keep a close eye on the case of Onyango Obama, who is being held in custody as there is a warrant already out ordering his deportation to Kenya.
Rep. Steve King, who sits on the House immigration subcommittee, said the Onyango Obama case “raises a troubling list of questions about the potential for preferential treatment.
“It is yet another reason Congress should hold hearings to expose President Obama’s executive amnesty program,” he said. "With an existing deportation order, it is not surprising to learn that 'Uncle Omar' Obama told police officers that his first call would be to his nephew in the White House. Now that the executive branch has gotten into the business of undermining the rule of law, there is little question that anyone who is connected to the president, politically or otherwise, will have an advantage.”
Steve Camarota, director of the Research Center for Immigration Studies, told Newsmax that the administration’s new policy, called Secure Communities, undermines the rule of law. “It’s all about discretion and prioritization and local circumstances and this case just shows how slipshod the whole situation has become.
“Don’t forget this guy is one of 550,000 deportation absconders who are still living in this country."
Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), told Newsmax that his organization would be watching the case very closely.
“He was already under a deportation order, so it raises the question of why was he still here?”
Freshman Republican Rep. Joe Walsh said, “This is the height of irony. Just a couple of weeks after the president sends out an executive order his uncle, who shouldn’t be here in the first place, gets arrested.
“The timing is just exquisite," the Illinois congressman told Newsmax.
“They said 300,000 cases would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Is this guy on that list and who is going to be looking at his case? I trust it is not the president. There could be a massive conflict of interest here.”
And Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert told Newsmax, “This is one more example of where the president is in a position where he can give favorable treatment to his cronies, and in this case a relative.
“It’s one more step making us look like a Third World corrupt government where it’s all about who you know.”
Onyango Obama was arrested on Aug. 24 outside the Chicken Bone Saloon in Framingham, Mass., after nearly hitting a police patrol car as he went through a stop sign. Tests showed his blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit. He was held in detention when police learned about the deportation order.
When told he could make one phone call, he said, “I think I should call the White House.”
The case has received little media attention in the United States, although it was widely covered in Britain and Australia.
“If it was me and I had an illegal immigrant jailed for drunk driving, it would be all over the press,” Walsh said. “But the media have protected this president from the day he announced he was running.”
The president referred to Onyango as “Uncle Omar” in his 1995 book “Dreams From My Father.” He visited members of his family in Kenya who called him “the uncle who had left for America 25 years ago and had never come back.”
The Times of London tried to find Onyango while doing research on the then-presidential candidate in 2008 but failed, although it did turn up his sister Zeituni Obama who was living as an illegal immigrant on a Boston housing estate.
Onyango and Zeituni are the children of the president’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama and his third wife, Sarah. Obama’s father, Barack Sr., who died in 1982, was the son of Hussein’s second wife, Akumu.
Zeituni, who moved to the United States in 2000, claimed political asylum, citing violence in Kenya. Her case was denied, but she later won the right to remain. She was represented by Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong who has also been retained by Onyango, reported the Times of London.
FAIR spokesman Mehlman said the question of whether DUIs should result in deportation orders is unclear under the new policy. A spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration Enforcement refused to tell Newsmax whether drunken driving would warrant automatic deportation.
But the case focuses attention on the new immigration policy and raises the question as to why Onyango Obama was still in the country despite the deportation order, Mehlman said . “It illustrates how our current president and some of his predecessors have turned our immigration law into a joke,” he said.
“If we don’t take immigration laws seriously in this country, why should we expect people around the world to do so?”