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Steve King Alleges 'Favoritism' In Granting Obama's Aunt Asylum In U.S.

First Posted: 05/19/10 02:13 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:30 PM ET

King Obamas Aunt

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he is skeptical about the recent decision to grant asylum to President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt, Zeituni Onyango, a ruling that will allow her to stay in the United State while she pursues citizenship.

"Traditionally, asylum has been granted to those that demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries," King noted in a release. "A judge granted President Obama's aunt amnesty through asylum despite her blatant disregard for the Rule of Law. Ms. Onyango has been living in the country illegally since her first application for asylum was rejected and she was ordered to be deported in 2004."

According to King, the New York Times report that Onyango wished to be granted asylum on the grounds that "she would face undue attention and perhaps danger in Kenya because of her relationship to President Obama," may not be sufficient.

"The American people deserve to know if Ms. Onyango was objectively granted asylum. No one is above the Rule of Law and we should not be granting an individual amnesty based solely on that person's relationship to public figures," King continued. "President Obama and Ms. Onyango should open the record to ensure transparency for the American people and clear any allegations of favoritism or judicial bias."

Medical issues have also been cited as a possible grounds for amnesty. Onyango earlier told the Associated Press that she was disabled and had been learning to walk again after being paralyzed from an autoimmune disorder. A U.S. Immigration Court in Boston ruled on Onyango's amnesty last Friday. Onyango is the the half-sister of Obama's late father.

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Filed by Nick Wing  |