- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

IMMIGRATION

Obama’s aunt to stay awhile

BOSTON | President Obama’s aunt will remain in the United States until at least next year as she awaits a chance to make her case before an immigration judge in her bid for asylum from her native Kenya.

Zeituni Onyango had an initial appearance in U.S. Immigration Court in Boston on Wednesday. At the brief hearing, a judge set her case to be heard Feb. 4.

Miss Onyango wore a curly red wig to the hearing and declined to comment to reporters as she was led away from court by her attorneys and police from the Federal Protective Service, a component of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for security at federal buildings.

Miss Onyango, 56, first applied for asylum in 2002, but her request was rejected, and she was ordered deported in 2004. She did not leave the country and continued to live in public housing in Boston.

POPULATION

Hispanic groups link reform, census

Saying traditional census outreach will not be enough, Hispanic groups on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to follow through now on its pledge to pass immigration reform or risk an undercount of millions of people.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Univision Inc., the League of United Latin American Citizens and SEIU announced a grass-roots campaign that would supplement Census Bureau efforts to reach the traditionally hard-to-count Hispanic community. An estimated 1 million Hispanics, or about 3 percent of the U.S. population, were missed in 2000, they say.

“Make no mistake about it: The census cannot succeed if Latinos are not fully counted,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO, noting that Hispanics make up half of the nation’s percentage population growth. “We are the future of the United States.”

REPUBLICANS

Palin’s husband faults RNC on wardrobe

The husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says the Republican Party’s lavish spending on her wardrobe during the presidential campaign was “out of our control.”

In the May issue of Men’s Journal, Todd Palin was asked about the more than $150,000 that the Republican National Committee spent on clothes, accessories and beauty services for the Republican vice-presidential nominee. He defended his wife, saying she was focused on preparation for her debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“She never went to Saks, or any of that stuff,” he said. “You come into a campaign late, you put all your trust into the team, you got people who are working on VP ops for a long time, and we’re just focused on debate prep…. Please. I mean these are my Sunday go-to-meeting jeans.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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