BOSTON (AP) — A judge who granted asylum to President Barack Obama's African aunt ruled she deserved to stay in the United States because a federal government official leaked her status to a news organization, making her a potential target for persecution in her native Kenya.
U.S. Immigration Judge Leonard Shapiro blasted the leak by the unnamed official in his 29-page ruling granting asylum to Zeituni Onyango in May. His written decision was released this week through the Freedom of Information Act and first was reported by The Boston Globe.
Shapiro found that a federal government official disclosed Onyango's immigration status and her relationship to Obama to The Associated Press three days before the November 2008 election in which Obama was elected as the first black president.
Onyango initially came to the U.S. in 2000. Her first request for political asylum in 2002 was rejected, and she was ordered deported in 2004. But she didn't leave the country and continued to live in Boston.
A judge later agreed to suspend her deportation order and reopen her asylum case.