Zeituni Onyango, the aunt of President Obama who fought deportation in a controversial courtroom saga in 2008, has died, her immigration lawyer told the Herald.
Onyango died this morning at a rehabilitation hospital after a lengthy bout with cancer and respiratory ailments, attorney Margaret Wong said.
“She’s been ill for quite some time. She didn’t like people to know, because she is so strong,” said Wong, who kept in touch with Onyango in recent years and called her “auntie.”
“I don’t think she accepted she was dying,” said Wong. “She just kept thinking she needs to go on.”
Onyango, a Kenyan national whose illegal-immigrant status came to light during her nephew’s first presidential bid, was famously defiant in her fight for asylum and insisted she had a right to live in taxpayer-funded housing in South Boston.