Obama's uncle held by immigration authorities

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — President Barack Obama's uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving in Massachusetts, told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House and is being held without bail by federal immigration officials, 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.

Police said Obama, who is originally from Kenya and is the half-brother of the president's late father, pleaded not guilty Friday and is being held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In a court document, ICE said Onyango Obama 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.

An immigration detainer, used by ICE to identify people in jail or prison who could be deported, is a request to another law enforcement agency to notify ICE before releasing the person from custody so ICE can arrange to take over custody.

Obama was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

AP Photo BX104

Obama's uncle held by immigration authorities 08/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 10:46pm]

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