Saturday December 09, 2023

Do Sasha and Malia Obama have lifetime US Secret Service protection?

Most Americans are unaware that the US Secret Service also provides protection to the President's family

By Web Desk
September 25, 2023
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. — White House Office
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. — White House Office 

Now that it has been years since Barack Obama left office, many people still wonder if Sasha and Malia Obama still enjoy protection from the Secret Service, a national agency dedicated to providing safety to the presidents of the United States.

Barack Obama, like many prior American presidents, rose to prominence around the globe. Even those who are used to being around celebrities may be overwhelmed by the former president because of his fame and magnetism.

Obama's family is highly liked, just like him. Examples include Malia Obama working on Donald Glover and Billie Eilish's show Swarm and Michelle Obama being requested to appear on a well-known show. Unfortunately, there are those who despise the Obamas, which leads some people to question whether they are still under Secret Service protection.

Who is protected by the Secret Service?

The Secret Service was established as one of the country's first law enforcement organisations to fight counterfeiting.

The number of people under the Secret Service's protection has significantly increased since they started guarding the US presidents. It made it reasonable for the vice president to be protected by the Secret Service as well, given that the president is always protected.

The Secret Service not only ensures the safety of the president and vice president but also of their family. That typically means that the Secret Service safeguards the spouse and children.

Most Americans are unaware that the Secret Service also provides protection for another set of persons. The Secret Service is present to ensure that no harm comes to visiting heads of state from other nations.

"Distinguished foreign visitors to the United States" will also be protected by the Secret Service. Officials from the US government who are on "special missions abroad" can also be under Secret Service protection.

The Secret Service also provides security for presidential and vice presidential candidates in addition to the individuals above. However, the Secret Service normally only provides protection for candidates within 120 days of the election.

Are Sasha Obama and Malia Obama permanently under the protection of the Secret Service?

Former President Barack Obama left the White House after eight years in office. The Secret Service's mission underwent some unexpected alterations not long after President Donald Trump assumed office. Once a new president assumes office, that procedure is always followed.

The Secret Service continues to guard a vice president for an additional six months after they leave office. The Secret Service will automatically stop guarding the former vice president after that time period is up.

The Secret Service regulations that apply to previous presidents, however, are substantially different from those that apply to the vice president. Surprisingly, former first spouses also seem to hold greater significance for the Secret Service than former vice presidents.

A law aimed at ensuring the safety of all past presidents was passed by Congress in 1965. Former presidents are now afforded lifetime protection by the Secret Service at taxpayer money because of that law. The Secret Service also provides lifetime protection to ex-First Spouses.

However, there are methods for the Secret Service to stop defending former presidents and first spouses, which may come as a surprise. Former presidents are free to refuse Secret Service protection if they so desire. First Spouses who remarry will no longer receive Secret Service protection.

The offspring of past presidents receive distinct treatment than former vice presidents. First Children are given varied treatment depending on their age once their parent is no longer the president.

The Secret Service still provides protection to former First Children, but only until they become 16 years old.

The 14 people that President Donald Trump asked the Secret Service to look out for included his adult children. All of Trump's adult children lost protection six months after he left office.

Sasha Obama and Malia Obama are no longer under the Secret Service's protection, much like Trump's kids. The two children of President Obama are no longer eligible for Secret Service protection because they are both adults in their 20s.