A federal immigration judge ruled Tuesday that President Obama's uncle, Onyango "Omar" Obama, may remain in the United States, the Boston Globe reported.
U.S. Immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro issued his ruling from the bench, saying he thought the Kenyan had met the criteria for legal permanent residency, commonly known as a green card.
"Welcome to America," Shapiro told Onyango, the Globe reported.
Shapiro based his decision on a federal immigration law that allows people who have lived in the United States since before 1972 to apply for residency.
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"Thank you, Your Honor," Onyango Obama, 69, said after the ruling.
During the hearing, Onyango Obama testified that "I do have a nephew; he's the president of the United States," saying the future president stayed with him for three weeks while a student at Harvard Law School in the late 1980s.
Onyango Obama, with the help of the president's late father, came to the United States in 1963 from their native Kenya under a student visa.
Immigration rulings obtained by the Globe show he was ordered deported in 1986 and 1989, then lost an appeal in 1992. The issue arose again after he was arrested on drunken-driving charges
After his arrest, he allegedly told an officer, "I think I will call the White House."
But Onyango Obama on Tuesday testified that he didn't recall saying that, the Globe reported.
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