Zeituni Onyango, 57, was expected in Boston federal immigration court to make her second attempt to be allowed to remain in the United States after she ignored a 2004 deportation order to be sent back to her native Kenya.
"She's the aunt of the president of the United States -- the most famous man in the world," Mike Rogers, spokesman for the Ohio law firm defending Onyango, told the Herald.
The hearing before Immigration Court Judge Leonard Shapiro is closed to the public, in accordance with Onyango's request.
"The immigration judge will hear the merits of the case from both parties," said Lauren Alder Reid of the US Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review, which speaks for the court. "The judge may make a ruling from the bench, but there's no guarantee."
Rogers said Onyango was not trying to "capitalize" on favoritism as a member of the president's family. She is the half-sister of Obama's late Kenyan father.
"Everyone knows she's related to him," Rogers said. "It's a no-win situation for him. He can't get involved in this. The law has got to run its course."
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