Confirmed: DHS held off on arresting illegal alien intern of Sen. Bob Menendez until after election
[UPDATE: This has been confirmed, see the update below]
From this (bolding added):
Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP...
...The prosecutor's office in Hudson County, N.J., said Sanchez was found to have violated the law in 2010 and subsequently required to register as a sex offender. The exact charge was unclear because Sanchez was prosecuted as a juvenile and those court records are not publicly accessible...
...Authorities in Hudson County notified ICE agents in early October that they suspected Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender and who may be eligible to be deported. ICE agents in New Jersey notified superiors at the Homeland Security Department because they considered it a potentially high profile arrest, and DHS instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election, one U.S. official told the AP. ICE officials complained that the delay was inappropriate, but DHS directed them several times not to act, the official said.
If that turns out to be the case, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise. See Department of Homeland Security and Obama immigration for plenty of past evidence that the Obama administration might have decided to delay the arrest in order to help someone in the Democratic Party.
Menendez is an ethnic nationalist, so he was probably just happy that his intern was the right ethnicity and wasn't going to ask too many questions. In case that sounds too bold, see Bob Menendez for some of the things he's said and done in the past.
But, wait, there's more:
During discussions about when and where to arrest Sanchez, the U.S. reviewed Sanchez's application for permission to stay in the country as part of President Barack Obama's policy to allow up to 1.7 million young illegal immigrants avoid deportation and get permission to work for up to two years. As a sex offender, he would not have been eligible. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, notified Sanchez of that shortly before his arrest, one official said.
Menendez said the arrest spoke to the need for comprehensive immigration reform that brings illegal immigrants out of the shadows.
"It does speak volumes about why we need comprehensive immigration reform," the senator said. "I can't know who is here to pursue the American dream versus who is here to do it damage if I cannot get people to come forth out of the shadows, go through criminal background checks and then determine who is here to pursue the dream and make sure that those who are here and have criminal backgrounds ultimately get deported."
Menendez' quote does not comport with reality. The Democrats, "business-friendly" Republicans, and the far-left don't have much use for immigration enforcement. If we declared an amnesty, large numbers - hundreds or thousands, maybe millions - of illegal aliens would choose to continue living in the shadows. And, those who push amnesty now would fight against attempts to find and deport them.
But, give Menendez points for being bold.
1/16/13 UPDATE: The original title of this post was "Claim: DHS held off on arresting illegal alien intern of Sen. Bob Menendez until after election" I replaced "Claim" with "Confirmed". Documents show that the DHS was lying and did in fact delay the arrest for political reasons (link):
Federal immigration agents were prepared to arrest an illegal immigrant and registered sex offender days before the November elections but were ordered by Washington to hold off after officials warned of "significant interest" from Congress and news organizations because the suspect was a volunteer intern for Sen. Robert Menendez, according to internal agency documents provided to Congress.
The Homeland Security Department said last month, when The Associated Press first disclosed the delayed arrest of Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, that AP's report was "categorically false."
Sanchez, 18, was an immigrant from Peru who has overstayed a visitor visa that allowed him to enter the United States. He eventually was arrested at his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6. He has since been released from an immigration jail and is facing deportation. Sanchez has declined to speak to the AP.
After the AP story, which cited an unnamed U.S. official involved in the case, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and six other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the Obama administration for details about the incident.
According to those documents, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Newark had arranged to arrest Sanchez at the local prosecutor's office on Oct. 25. That was fewer than two weeks before the election.
Noting that Sanchez was a volunteer in Menendez's Senate office, ICE officials in New Jersey advised that the arrest "had the possibility of garnering significant congressional and media interest" and were "advised to postpone the arrest" until officials in Washington gave approval. The documents describe a conference call between officials Washington and New Jersey to "determine a way forward, given the potential sensitivities surrounding the case."
Hopefully this is prosecutable, but just as much let's hope some scapegoat isn't the only one who gets prosecuted.