BOSTON — President Barack Obama’s aunt, who lived for years illegally in Boston before being granted asylum in May, said the United States has an “obligation” to grant her citizenship.

“If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen,” Zeituni Onyango told WBZ-TV on Monday.

Onyango came to the United States from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum in 2004. She was granted asylum earlier this year by the same judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to her homeland.

She intended to return to Kenya but fell critically ill and was hospitalized. Afterward, she was penniless and lived in a homeless shelter for two years.

She told The Associated Press last December that she was paralyzed for more than three months because of an autoimmune disorder and had to learn to walk again.

It was after her illness, she said, that she was assigned public housing. She said she resented being used to attack her nephew, who has never intervened in her immigration case.