The president didn't learn of last week's arrest of Onyango Obama until told about it Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
"We expect it to be treated ... like any other immigration case,'' Carney said.
Asked if he wanted to make a call after his arrest, Framingham police said, Onyango Obama said he wanted to call the White House to arrange bail, The Boston Globe reported.
Police arrested him last week on drunken driving and other charges after he allegedly drove his car in front of a police cruiser. Federal immigration authorities then found the Kenya native had been living and working in Massachusetts in violation of a 1992 deportation order, law enforcement sources told the Globe.
Obama, 67, the half-brother of the president's late father, has pleaded not guilty in Framingham District Court and was being held in the Plymouth County House of Correction on an immigration detainer.
Scott Bratton, a lawyer representing Obama, said this week he would fight the deportation order, as his client has been living in the United States nearly 50 years.
Obama's sister, Zeituni Onyango, had also faced deportation before being granted asylum by a U.S. Immigration judge in Boston judge last year. The president said at the time he had no involvement in the case.