President Barack Obama's aunt will remain in the United States until at least next year as she awaits a chance to make her case before an immigration judge in her bid for asylum from her native Kenya.
Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUH'-nee awn-YAHN'-goh) had an initial appearance in U.S. Immigration Court in Boston on Wednesday. At the brief hearing, a judge set her case to be heard Feb. 4, 2010.
Onyango wore a curly red wig to the hearing and declined to comment to reporters as she was led away from court by her attorneys and police from the Federal Protective Service, a component of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for security at federal buildings.
Onyango, 56, first applied for asylum in 2002, but her request was rejected and she was ordered deported in 2004. She did not leave the country and continued to live in public housing in Boston.
Her lawyer, Cleveland immigration attorney Margaret Wong, said in a statement Wednesday that Onyango first applied for asylum "due to violence in Kenya," but she did not reveal what grounds she has cited in her renewed bid for asylum. The court hearing was closed at her lawyer's request.