Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) said yesterday that he approves of deporting an uncle to President Barack Obama who was arrested in August on a charge of drunk driving, even though the man has a driver's license, Social Security card and no prior criminal convictions.
Speaking to Boston radio host Howie Carr yesterday, Romney was asked point-blank whether Ongyango Obama, half-brother to President Obama's father, should be deported back to Kenya.
"Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws," Romney replied, according to quotes transcribed by ABC News. "And the answer is yes."
Immigrants, even those with proper documentation, can be deported if they are convicted of a crime. Before asking the question, the host had already informed Romney that Obama had valid U.S. identification and a Social Security number at the time of his arrest, although it was clear that Romney was not immediately familiar with the case.
Obama was arrested outside Boston earlier this year and accused of driving while intoxicated, negligent operation of a vehicle and failing to yield, then held him even longer after authorities learned that he allegedly violated an immigration order nearly 20 years ago.
He was ultimately released on bail and ordered to check back in with authorities periodically. Obama pleaded not guilty to the charges and was still awaiting trial.
Obama's sister, Zeituni Onyango, was also caught in the country illegally years ago, although she had traveled to the U.S. on a legal visa and began claiming asylum nearly a decade ago. Her request to stay was granted by an immigration judge late last year, putting her on the path to becoming a naturalized citizen by 2015.
Her brother has subsequently hired the same lawyer.