Obama’s Aunt’s Asylum Case: Nepotism or the Rule of Law?

by admin on February 12, 2010

President Obama’s Kenyan aunt has been residing in the United States since 2004.  Zeituni Onyango has been ordered by a judge, twice, to be deported, after her requests for political asylum were denied. On February 4, 2010, a federal immigration judge heard her case, but without making a ruling, requested that the lawyers involved in the case submit closing argument briefs in 30 days.

The case has received significant attention, especially since it was published in national media during Obama’s campaign in 2008—but to the disbelief of many observers, Obama has insisted on staying out of the procedures. Despite his public stance of non-involvement, many critics are saying that his aunt’s extended presence in the country is just an example of American-style nepotism. 

Obama has commented that his aunt’s asylum case should follow procedures according to American immigration law.  And this is precisely how the case is proceeding. 

What might not be so apparent to US citizens residing in the USA is that Zeituni Onyango’s case is an example of the effective functioning of the rule of law.  As a US citizen that has resided abroad for many years, I can testify to the fact that in many other ostensibly democratic countries, a family member of the President or even the family member of an influential person, would receive preferential treatment as a routine matter. 

In fact, Zeituni Onyango’s asylum case is an example of the robustness of the American legal system, rather than a neither failing nor nepotistic system.    This is due process at work.  Yes, there will be scammers and parasites that take advantage of the legal system.  However, the protection of due process and civil liberties within the legal system is, in my humble opinion, more important than individual abuses of the system.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: