BOSTON (AP) — An aunt of President Barack Obama who was denied asylum in the U.S. but stayed illegally for years has died in Massachusetts. Zeituni Onyango (zay-TOO’-nee ohn-YAHN’-goh) was 61.

Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong represented Onyango in her immigration case. She says Onyango died Tuesday in a Boston rehabilitation center. She says Onyango was being treated for cancer and respiratory problems.

 In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, file photo, President Barack Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in her home in Boston. Onyango, whose status as an illegal immigrant was revealed days before Obama was elected in 2008, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, file photo, President Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in her home in Boston. Onyango, whose status as an illegal immigrant was revealed days before Obama was elected in 2008, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

Onyango moved to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004. She remained in the country illegally, living in Boston public housing. Her immigration status was reported by The Associated Press days before Obama’s election in 2008.

Onyango was a half-sister of Obama’s late father. She was granted asylum in 2010 by a judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to Kenya because of her relationship with Obama.