August 30, 2011 in Nation/World

Obama uncle held by immigration officials

Denise Lavoie Associated Press
 

Obama
(Full-size photo)

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – President Barack Obama’s uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving, told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House and was being held without bail on an immigration detainer, authorities said Monday.

Onyango Obama, 67, 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 strike his sport utility vehicle.

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.

Police said Obama, who’s originally from Kenya and is the half-brother of the president’s late father, pleaded not guilty Friday and was being held without bail on a detainer from U.S. 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.

A spokesman for ICE declined to comment, and the White House had no comment.

The president refers in his memoir “Dreams from My Father,” about retracing his roots and his 1988 trip to Kenya, to an Uncle Omar, who matches Obama’s background and has the same date of birth.

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