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President Obama's 69-year-old Kenyan uncle Onyango “Omar” Obama may stay in the U.S. as a legal resident, two decades after facing deportation. Because Omar has lived in the U.S. for about 50 years, Judge Leonard I. Shapiro ruled that he could apply for residency under a federal immigration law applying to those who have resided in the U.S. since 1972 or before, according to the Boston Globe.  

During the deportation hearing on Tuesday, Omar contradicted a White House statement that the president has never met his uncle. Omar testified that Barack Obama stayed with him in Cambridge for a few weeks while attending Harvard Law School, a claim backed up by Omar's landlord at the time, Alfred Ouma. The president does not seem to have anything approaching a close relationship with his uncle.

In order to meet the requirements for residency under federal law, Omar had to demonstrate that he was of "good moral character." That's despite a 2011 drunk driving charge in Framingham. That arrest resurfaced an earlier attempt to deport Omar — he lost an appeal on an order to leave the country in 1992. The 2011 drunk driving case was ultimately dismissed, and Shapiro said that "he appears to me to be a gentleman and I'm inclined to grant his application on that basis," Shapiro added that Omar had demonstrated a history of being a "a good neighbor and a good friend."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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