Obama's uncle's arrest sparks driving debate
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- The arrest of President Barack Obama's uncle in Framingham on Monday is sparking a driving debate.
Obama Onyango had a driver's license for almost 20 years, despite being an illegal immigrant. Some said his arrest, along with the dragging death of a young Milford man, is bringing to light a dangerous problem.
The President's uncle has a valid driver's license, but also a valid social security number, even though federal agents claim he is in this country illegally.
7News has learned that in 1992 an immigration judge ordered Onyango to leave the United States, but he never did. According to an internal memo put out by the director of immigration obtained by 7News Onyango is on very thin ice.
Onyango's neighbors said his alleged drunk driving was wrong and they believe immigration should cut him some slack.
"People deserve a second chance. [He] necessarily doesn't have to be deported," said one woman.
According to the memo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, illegal immigrants like Onyango are in the agency's crosshairs. When it comes to apprehending, detaining and removing illegal aliens, it is top priority to remove those who pose a risk to public safety and were ordered to leave the country, but didn't.
"I think he should pay a price before he gets deported because what he did was wrong," said Carlos Pillot, one of Onyango's neighbors.
Onyango allegedly cut off a police officer and then took off before being arrested. Framingham police said they measured Onyango's blood alcohol level at .14 percent -- twice the legal limit.
The report said during the booking Onyango said, "I think I will call the White House." Federal Immigration Agents claim Onyango is in the United States illegally, which comes as a shock to his employer, because he has a valid license and social security number.
Onyango worked at a Framingham liquor store for over five years and his employer said he's missing him at work.
"He was a hard worker and he's like family to us," said Parimel Patel, owner of Conti Liquors.
Onyango made $1,300 a month at Conti Liquors where he worked the register and stocking shelves. The owner said his arrest is a total shock -- the OUI and the connection to the Chief Executive.
"Never [mentioned President Obama] even during election time, stuff like that. We'd talk about it here and there, but nothing crazy," said Patel.
Customers even joked with the friendly clerk about his famous name.
"One time my sister asked him what his name was and he said Obama. She said, ‘Yeah, and I'm Hilary Clinton,'" said one customer.
"We had him on payroll, everything, driver's license, we had no reason to think anything different," said Patel.
The RMV said Onyango's driving record was clean up until last week and has had a valid social security number for at least 19 years.
The immigration issue hit a raw nerve a funeral on Tuesday in Milford. Police claimed an alleged illegal alien was driving drunk when he struck 23-year-old Matthew Denice. Denice was on a motorcycle and struck, then dragged half a mile.
"This is the kind of thing that I think is making the people in Massachusetts and this country irate," said Sheriff Tom Hodgson of Bristol County.
"Disgusted. Disgusted," said one man.
Onyango is due back in court Sept. 29.
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