SOUTH BOSTON (CBS) – President Barack Obama’s half-aunt Zeituni Onyango, who lived for years illegally in South Boston, has died, according to according to one of the attorneys who later helped her win asylum and obtain a green card.

Onyango, 61, had been ill since January, and passed away in her sleep, a statement said.

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Onyango landed in the public spotlight during President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

She was living in public housing in South Boston, and at the time was collecting monthly disability.

In 2010, she told WBZ-TV that she came to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 but couldn’t afford to leave when she was originally denied asylum in 2004.

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She later lived in a homeless shelter for two years before being assigned public housing.

She was granted asylum in 2010.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately made public.

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