The Associated Press reports that President Obama’s paternal aunt, Zeituni Onyango, has been living in the United States illegally and was granted asylum in May of 2010. Onyango lives in Boston in public housing and draws a $700 per month check in disability benefits. Both assets are paid for with taxpayer money. She came to the United States from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum in 2004.
Onyango attempted to return to Kenya but was hospitalized and was unable to afford the return trip. She is the half-sister of Obama’s late father. Her story was discovered on an interview with WBZ-TV.
This case of an embarrassing relative isn’t the first for an American president. Several recent examples also come to light when you discuss the families of presidents.
Jenna and Barbara Bush were busted in Texas for drinking. The problem was that the twin daughters of George W. Bush and Laura Bush were not yet of drinking age. The incident happened in May of 2001, mere months after the younger Bush had taken office, according to People.
That was the second time that Jenna Bush had gotten in trouble. Earlier that year, she tried to buy alcohol with a false identification. Like father, like daughters.
Neil Bush is the younger brother of George W. Bush and was in the midst of a messy divorce in 2004. His former wife, in the divorce depositions, accused Neil Bush of fathering a child with the woman he planned to marry after the divorce was finalized, according to CBS News.
Neil was part of the savings and loan debacle in the mid-1980s and also received money from consultations he has done with his own firm. Even though there was no evidence that his older brother tried to help him while he was president, Neil Bush was still an embarrassment to the younger Bush.
Roger Clinton Jr.
Bill Clinton’s half-brother, Roger, was arrested in 1985 for cocaine possession and served a year in jail. When Bill left office, one of his many controversial pardons included wiping his half-brother’s slate clean in 2001.
Roger Clinton Jr. is a musician and formed a rock band. Apparently Roger’s rock-n-roll life was a slight embarrassment for the first family as well as they left office.
Whether Obama’s aunt did something wrong or not at this point is inconsequential. She is part of a larger debate regarding immigration reform that has little to do with Obama as President. Clearly anything he does to try to help her will be seen as nepotism in the government.
This sudden forthcoming interview that she’s done in time for mid-term elections will surely make for interesting general elections in November should the Republicans decide to use this against Obama and his supporters. The revelation won’t affect Obama directly, but it could hurt his Party’s chances in November.
The Associated Press, People, CBS News, and Mash Celeb contributed information for this article.