A Thought About Uncle Omar

By David North on September 10, 2011

Here's a thought about what the Obama administration might do with Uncle Omar, who is America's most prominent illegal alien this month.

As my colleague Jon Feere noted yesterday, the president's half-uncle, Onyango Obama, the illegal alien with the drunk driving citation, has been released from jail, and no official will tell us what the government plans to do with him – despite the outstanding deportation order of some years ago.

The ICE leadership is caught between a rock and a hard place. No individual government official wants to sign a deportation order against a presidential relative, no matter how silent the White House is on this matter. Besides, it may be contrary to current administration policy to deport aliens with something less than a conviction for criminal violence. That, of course, should not be the case, but is.

On the other hand, Uncle Omar is a potential political disaster just waiting to happen. If he gets into trouble again – though he has avoided this for decades – voters will be reminded of what appears to be special treatment. If he stays quietly in the States, but out of jail, the opposition will be sure to remind people that he has been treated differently than other illegals, and that deportable aliens, generally, are being handled with kid gloves.

These are two somewhat different messages, but neither helps the president.

What to do?

I was reminded of a resource, potentially available to the White House, that has not been mentioned in this connection. These are the deep pockets of the Democratic National Committee, an organization that I toiled for nearly 50 years ago, during the highly successful re-election campaign of Lyndon Johnson.

I was the patronage mechanic for the DNC (though that was not my formal title), and performed other odd chores; despite the job description I loved the work and am, in retrospect, happy that I had the experience.

There is a point to all this autobiography, and it is this: once I was told by de facto boss of the DNC, a Boston Irishman that LBJ had wisely retained, that I was to call Steve Smith, the brother-in-law of the late JFK, with a bit of bad news. It was that the DNC would no longer be paying the salary of the full-time nurse who was tending Joseph Kennedy, the clan patriarch.

Thus party resources had been used to meet a personal need (or desire) of the president's family. Not exactly admirable public policy but probably not illegal, either.

Steve Smith was the businessman in the family, and was taking care of his father-in-law's finances. It was not a pleasant assignment, and Smith was pretty abrupt with me, but that memory produces a suggestion for the Obamas: Why not buy a one-way trip to Kenya for Uncle Omar with DNC funds, or, better, get some donor to handle the costs directly? Similarly, set up a modest pension plan for him that terminates automatically should he return to the States. Above all else, keep him out of the country until after the November 2012 election.

No government funds would be involved. No decision on deportation would have to be made. The PR consequences of this maneuver, while they might be passing troublesome, would be minimal compared to the prospect of Uncle Omar getting in trouble again. Or, more precisely, getting in trouble in the U.S.

Uncle Omar would, in short, leave the political scene. From an immigration policy point of view, it could be regarded as self-deportation, or maybe subsidized self-deportation.

If this happens, remember that you saw it here first.

If it doesn't happen, forget about this blog!