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Obama father 'forced to leave uni'

President Barack Obama's Kenyan father was forced to leave Harvard University before completing his PhD in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances, according to newly-public immigration records.

Harvard had asked the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) to delay a request by Barack Hussein Obama Sr to extend his stay in the US, "until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him", immigration official MF McKeon wrote in a June 1964 memo.

Harvard administrators, the memo stated, "were having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn't seem to figure out how many wives he had".

An earlier INS memo from Mr McKeon said that while the elder Obama had passed his exams and was entitled on academic grounds to stay and complete his thesis, the school was going to try and "cook something up to ease him out".

"They are planning on telling him that they will not give him any money, and that he had better return to Kenya and prepare his thesis at home," the memo stated.

In May 1964, David Henry, director of Harvard's international office, wrote to Mr Obama to say that, while he had completed his formal course work, the economics department and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences did not have the money to support him.

"We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that you should terminate your stay in the US and return to Kenya to carry on your research and the writing of your thesis," Mr Henry's letter stated.

Mr Obama's request for an extended stay was denied by the INS. He left Harvard and - divorced from the future president's mother - returned to his native Kenya in July 1964. He did not complete his PhD.

The immigration memos, contained in the elder Obama's Immigration and Naturalisation file, were given to a Boston Globe reporter in 2009 through a Freedom of Information request. The papers were first made public on Wednesday by The Arizona Independent, a weekly newspaper. The Associated Press obtained copies of them yesterday.

Harvard issued a statement saying that it could not find in its own records anything to support the accounts given in the INS memos. "While we cannot verify accounts of conversations that occurred nearly 50 years ago, a review of our existing files did not find any support for either the language or the implied intent described by the US government official in the government documents," the statement read.

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