Just a week after he copped a plea in a drunken-driving rap, President Obama’s illegal-alien uncle has landed a hardship driver’s license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, making it perfectly legal for him to drive in Massachusetts — even though the feds say he doesn’t belong here.
Onyango Obama, 67, who lost his regular license for 45 days last week, scored his limited license yesterday from the Registry’s Wilmington branch, after convincing a hearing officer that life without wheels would have posed an undue hardship on his livelihood as a liquor-store manager. Obama bolstered his case with a letter from his employer, Conti Liquors, as well as proof that he’d enrolled in an alcohol-treatment program.
“He met all of the criteria,” RMV spokeswoman Sara Lavoie said.
Of the state’s decision to award Obama a license even though the federal government considers him an illegal alien, Lavoie would only say, “Registry business is based on Registry records.”
The license allows Obama to drive from noon to midnight.
The license award drew fire from one advocate of tough enforcement on illegals, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.
“Our democracy is predicated on law,” Hodgson said. “When we start to interpret these laws differently and manipulate them the way we want them to work for certain people, we start to send a mixed message to people that the law doesn’t really matter. Its subject to interpretation. You don’t have to follow the law. They find ways to justify it. We need the laws to be very clear. We need ‘no’ to mean ‘no’ again.”
Hodgson, along with sheriffs in Plymouth and Worcester counties, stood up for Secure Communities, a program that feeds local police fingerprint checks into federal databases to check the citizenship status of accused criminals. Gov. Deval Patrick has refused to enroll the state in the program.
Obama, a Kenyan national, lost his license last week after admitting in court that Framingham cops had sufficient evidence to convict him in an August OUI bust. His lawyer, P. Scott Bratton, said Obama has an immigration hearing next month.
A judge continued Obama’s OUI case without a finding for one year, meaning he’ll face no further punishment if he stays out of trouble. Obama is the half-brother of President Obama’s late father, and the older brother of Zeituni Onyango, who was granted asylum in 2010.