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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

'I'm calling my nephew' - Obama's uncle arrested for drink-driving

Onyango Obama, the 67-year-old uncle of President Barack Obama, is arrested and held over a previous deportation order.

Onyango Obama, as photographed by police after his arrest last week.
Onyango Obama, as photographed by police after his arrest last week.
Image: AP / Framingham Police Department

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving – and told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House.

Onyango ‘Omar’ Obama was arrested last week in Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston, after police said he made a rolling stop through a stop sign and nearly caused a cruiser to collide with his SUV.

Police said that after being booked at the police station, Obama was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail. ”I think I will call the White House,” he stated, according to a police report filed in Framingham District Court.

Obama, 67, was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

Police said Obama, who is originally from Kenya and is the half-brother of the president’s late father, pleaded not guilty in court on Friday and is being held without bail on a detainer from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In a court document, ICE said he had an earlier deportation or removal order.

His immigration status couldn’t immediately be confirmed, but such orders are generally reserved for people living in the country illegally.

An immigration detainer, used by ICE to identify people in jail or prison who could be deported, is a request to another law enforcement agency to notify ICE before releasing the person from custody so ICE can arrange to take over custody.

A spokesman for ICE declined to comment on Obama’s immigration case, and the White House had no comment.

The president refers in his ‘Uncle Omar’ in his memoir ‘Dreams from My Father’, about retracing his roots and his 1988 trip to Kenya.

A spokesman for Cleveland immigration attorney Margaret Wong said she would represent Obama in the case, and confirmed that the arrested man was the uncle of the President.

The president’s aunt Zeituni Onyango, a sister of the arrested man, made headlines last year when she won the right to stay in the United States after an earlier deportation order.

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Associated Press

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