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Obama's Uncle Had Valid License, SSN When Arrested

FRAMINGHAM (CBS) - President Obama's uncle, who was recently arrested for allegedly driving drunk, had a clean driving record before the arrest, along with a valid driver's license, which requires a valid social security number at registration.

"In Massachusetts, we have two criteria, the first is you have to have a valid social security number, the second is you need proof of residency in Massachusetts, and you need both of those," said Mike Verseckees  of the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Onyango Obama, an illegal immigrant who now faces possible deportation, has had his license for at least 20 years. His license had been renewed at least five times during that time.

WBZ-TV's Karen Anderson reports

He was arrested last week on drunk driving charges, and documents obtained by WBZ-TV show when he was asked if he wanted to make a phone call after his arrest, he responded, "I think I will call the White House."

According to court documents, a judge had ordered Onyango Obama be deported prior to the arrest. State officials tells us the RMV was never told of this, and friends say he had recently renewed his driver's license.

As for how Onyango Obama was able to obtain that social security number, an official at the SSA National Press Office released a statement to WBZ-TV:

"I am not going to discuss this individual situation. Congress has required us to issue SSNs to lawfully admitted noncitizens for a variety of situations."

The Social Security website lists several ways for an immigrant to obtain a SSN, and one way is by getting government permission to work in the US.

Onyango Obama used to work at Conti Liquors in Framingham. His former boss told WBZ-TV's Karen Anderson he was stunned about news that his former employee is related to the president.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports:


Parimal Patel, the owner of Conti Liquors, said Onyango Obama worked for him for about five years and never mentioned his nephew, President Barack Obama, or his sister Zeituni Onyango, who lived for years illegally in South Boston. Zeituni Onyango told WBZ-TV in September 2010 after being granted asylum that the United States has an "obligation" to grant her citizenship.

Patel said Onyango Obama should be punished for allegedly driving drunk, but he personally had nothing but good things to say about him. The owner added that Onyango Obama was a very hard worker, was always on time and never missed a day of work. He said he considered him part of his family.

WBZ-TV's Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

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