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Friday, September 9, 2011

Obama’s uncle quietly released from jail



Officials released President Obama’s uncle from Plymouth County jail yesterday after holding him for more than two weeks on an immigration detainer for violating an order to return to his native Kenya in 1992.

US officials refused to disclose any other information about Onyango Obama, who remained in the United States undetected until Framingham police arrested him Aug. 24 on drunken driving and other charges.

Yesterday, federal immigration officials refused to say whether the 67-year-old Framingham resident posted bond, whether they are keeping track of his whereabouts, or even whether they are still seeking his deportation, raising questions about public accountability in the case.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website confirmed Obama’s release by listing him as “not in custody.’’

Although the website confirmed it, Brian P. Hale, an agency spokesman, said he would not comment on the case because privacy laws and the agency’s policies prohibit it. He said the database is accurate, however.

As a result of the immigration agency’s refusal to discuss the case, it is unclear what happened to Obama after he left the Plymouth County House of Correction - or whether he could be returned to jail.

An official at the Plymouth County House of Correction who would not give his name said yesterday afternoon that Obama was no longer in custody. He had been taken to Burlington, where US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has offices, he said.

In Framingham, the people who shared a modest frame house with Obama on a residential street said they did not know where he was. A co-worker at Conti Liquors, where Obama worked, said they had not heard of his release.

His Cleveland lawyers, Margaret Wong and Scott Bratton, were unavailable for comment, and an assistant said they had not been notified that he was released.

Onyango Obama was the half-brother of the president’s late father. At the time of his arrest, Obama allegedly told Framingham police, “I think I will call the White House’’ to arrange bail.  (Continues here)

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