Washington, Nov.13 : U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will not have the executive power to unilaterally grant his aunt legal immigration status, according to Fox News.
Zeituni Onyango was ordered to leave the country in 2004 by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya.
Her illegal-immigrant status was revealed to the public days before Obama's election on November 4, and now she is fighting the deportation order.
Onyango fled her public housing apartment in Boston, where she had lived for five years, and is now staying with relatives in Cleveland.
Obama only course of action would be to appeal to Congress to file a private bill providing citizenship.
Onyango will need to show that she has physically spent 10 years in the country, has not been convicted of certain crimes and has qualifying relatives with extreme hardship.
Her attorney, Margaret Wong, has said she may file a motion to reopen Onyango's case or file an appeal for her to stay on humanitarian grounds.
Onyango is Obama's father's half-sister. The president-elect met his father's side of his family for the first time when he traveled to Africa 20 years ago. He referred to Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" when describing the trip in his memoir, calling her "a proud woman."
She attended Obama's swearing-in to the U.S. Senate in January 2005, but his aides have said Obama provided no assistance in getting her a tourist visa and he doesn't know the details of her stay.
They say said he last heard from her about two years ago when she called to say she was in Boston, but he did not visit her there.