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22/09/2010

Obama's aunt not sorry she accepted public housing

BOSTON – President Barack Obama's aunt says she has no reason to apologize for accepting public housing and other government assistance even though she hasn't contributed to the system.

Zeituni Onyango said in an interview with WBZ-TV that the United States is supposed to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"This country is owned by almighty God," she said in her first interview since being granted asylum in May. "You people who preach Jesus Christ, almighty God, and the rest of it, you are here to help people, help the poor, help other countries and help women. That's what the United States is supposed to do."

The station aired the second part of the interview on Tuesday night.

Onyango came to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004.

She stayed in the country illegally, living in Boston public housing, where she remains to this day. She also currently receives $700 per month in disability benefits.

She was granted asylum earlier this year by the same judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to her homeland because of her relationship with the president.

"It's a great country," she said of the U.S. "It's nice to live here. You can do whatever you want when you live here."

She said in the first part of the interview she intended to return to Kenya but fell critically ill and was hospitalized. When she was discharged, she could not afford to move and had to live in a homeless shelter for two years.

She said President Obama never intervened in her immigration case. Onyango is the half sister of Obama's late father.

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