Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr brought up on his Monday’s show that Onyango Obama, President Obama’s long lost half uncle (“Uncle Omar”) who was arrested by Framingham, Massachusetts police last week, charged with DUI, and found to have a warrant out on him by immigration authorities at ICE, has a valid social security number and a Massachusetts driver’s license.
Mr. Carr contacted the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and asked a spokesman at the state motor vehicle agency how someone in Onyago Obama’s circumstances could get a driver’s license. He later told his audience what he discovered:(emphasis is mine)
“According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles he has a valid driver’s license and you can’t get a valid driver’s license, supposedly, unless you have a social security number. And I asked them (RMV), ‘Well how the hell did he get a license if he never had a social security number? Maybe I’m just a little mister naive.’ But they said that they couldn’t tell me because he had the license for at least 20 years, so he had gotten it back in their pre-computer days.”
In President Obama’s 1995 memoir “Dreams from My Father” he writes that he learned in 1988 through family members in Kenya that his Uncle Omar came to the United States 25 years prior. A number of commentators are mentioning that President Obama’s uncle may have benefited from a policy that goes back to the days of former Massachusetts Democratic Governor Michael Dukakis, when illegal immigrants were assigned identification numbers that looked similar to social security numbers. A 1989 Associated Press article with the headline “Mass. Aliens Given Fake Social Security Numbers” describe how these numbers were released: (bolding is mine)
Massachusetts welfare workers assigned hundreds of dummy Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants to enable them to receive millions of dollars in state benefits.Federal officials said Wednesday, there’s nothing illegal about it. But Gov. Michael Dukakis says it’s got to stop because it goes against his new efforts to crack down on aid to illegal aliens, which he says the state can no longer afford.The practice started after Dukakis issued a 1985 executive order barring state agencies from asking people applying for state services about theircitizenship status.But citizens or not, the computerized welfare records required a case identification number for each person, and that had to be a nine-digit number since for most people the ID is the same as their Social Security number.Welfare spokeswoman Michal Regunberg said the department issued its own control numbers, which started with a three-digit prefix not used by the Social Security Administration.
Mark Krikorian at National Review has a few other plausible theories as to how Onyango Obama attained his social security number:
Uncle Omar might have had a visa that permitted work authorization and then simply overstayed, or he may have applied for asylum (which application, before 1995, gave you automatic work authorization) and then not left after he was turned down.
The Boston Herald is reporting that the elder Mr. Obama has had his social security number for at least 19 years. Onyango Obama is currently being held by ICE authorities. Interestingly his immigration case will be handled by the same Cleveland attorney who successfully represented President Obama’s Aunt Zeituni when she was about to be deported back to Kenya.