House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Friday accused the White House of intervening on behalf of the president’s uncle after Onyango Obama was released from jail Thursday.

Onyango Obama was arrested in August for allegedly driving under the influence and nearly hitting a police car. He has been held in a Massachusetts jail since then on subsequent charges that he violated a court order to return to his native Kenya in 1992.

ADVERTISEMENT

It appears there is a double standard — one for President Obama’s family and one for everyone else, Smith said in a news release. Last year, President Obama’s illegal immigrant aunt was granted asylum and now his illegal immigrant uncle has been released from [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody, even though he was arrested by authorities for drunk driving.

Federal immigration officials have declined to say why Onyango Obama was released or if they continue to seek his deportation. It is possible that the president’s uncle simply posted bail.

The White House insisted that the president was unaware that his uncle was in the United States illegally, and would not intervene on his behalf.

We expect it to be treated — and I refer you to ICE and [the Department of Homeland Security] — like any other immigration case, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

But Smith said he sees the release of the president’s uncle as endemic of problems with the president’s recently announced immigration policy, in which officials were instructed to exercise prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases. Under that policy, the government would focus resources on deporting those considered national security or public safety threats. Smith requested in August that DUI arrests be considered severe enough to demand deportation proceedings, but DHS denied that request.

President Obama’s backdoor amnesty allows drunk-driving illegal immigrants like his uncle to remain in the U.S., Smith said. His immigration policies are a risk to both public safety and American lives. Why should citizens and legal immigrants be threatened by drunk driving illegal immigrants when the administration can deport them?

Smith went on to say that the case was evidence that the president was siding with illegal immigrants and not the American people.

Smith is not the only Republican to argue that the president’s uncle should be deported. On Wednesday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) said that in a fair world, Onyango Obama would be forced to return to Kenya.

Well, yeah. He’s here illegally. He’s obviously broken the law, Brown said in an interview on the Howie Carr Show.

I don’t know enough about the details of the case, but, God, he’s been running around for how long now? Let him go through the process and see what happens.