President Barack Obama’s uncle was arrested last week on charges of drunken driving and is being held by federal immigration officials, multiple news outlets reported Monday.
Onyango Obama, 67, was arrested Wednesday in Framingham, Mass., and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, failure to yield at an intersection and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, Cara O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, told Reuters. Obama pleaded not guilty last week.
His sport utility vehicle made a rolling stop through a stop sign, nearly causing a collision with a police cruiser, police told the Associated Press.
Obama is a half brother of the president’s deceased father. He is from Kenya, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a court document that there was an existing deportation or removal order for him. The AP reported that such orders are typically for people who are living in the country illegally, but Obama’s immigration status was not known. An ICE spokesman and the White House had no comment for news organizations.
He hired Cleveland immigration lawyer Margaret Wong, who represented his sister, Zeituni Onyango, in an immigration case, Wong spokesman Michael Rogers confirmed. Zeituni Onyango was granted asylum last year, after being denied in 2004 but remaining in the country illegally.
Rogers also confirmed Onyango Obama’s relationship to Barack Obama.
Framingham police Officer Val Krishtal, who pulled over Onyango Obama on Wednesday, said in a written report that Obama failed several sobriety tests and that a breath test registered a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent. The state’s legal driving limit is 0.08 percent.
According to a police report, when Obama was asked at the police station whether he wanted to make a phone call to arrange for bail, he responded, “I think I will call the White House.”
The administration announced changes to its deportation policy Aug. 18. The Homeland Security and Justice departments will form a joint task force to review pending deportations case by case, focusing on violent offenders. The agencies will not aggressively pursue young people brought to the country illegally as children who enroll in college or join the military under the policy, according to a letter from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has advocated for a bill that would create a path to citizenship for such cases.
Rep. Steve King stepped up his call for Congressional hearings into the policy following reports of the president’s uncle’s arrest.
“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, just like President Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango, when it comes time to determine who is granted amnesty,” the Iowa Republican said in a statement. “This raises a troubling list of questions about the potential for preferential treatment, and is yet another reason Congress should hold hearings to expose Obama’s executive amnesty program.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.