Bob Menendez Intern Arrested: Undocumented Immigrant, Registered Sex Offender Faces Deportation

Alicia A. Caldwell, Huffington Post, December 12, 2012

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an undocumented 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.

Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old immigrant from Peru, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6, two federal officials said. Sanchez, who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa from Peru, is facing deportation and remains in custody. {snip}

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, Peter Boogaard, said in an email to the AP that ICE followed standard procedures working with local prosecutors before taking what he called “appropriate enforcement action.” Boogard also said AP’s report was “categorically false.” He did not immediately respond to a request to specify what might be false.

Menendez, D-N.J., who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected in November with 58 percent of the vote. He said his staff was notified Monday, and he personally learned about the case from AP’s reporting and knew nothing about whether DHS delayed the arrest. The senator said his staff asks interns whether they are in the country legally but cannot check to be sure.

“We certainly wouldn’t have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status,” Menendez said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC. “Once it came to our attention, our New Jersey staff director let the young man go.”


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. {snip}

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.


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.”


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  • Menendez claims he did nothing wrong because this was an unpaid position. Somehow, I get the feeling that at least in theory, it’s still a Federal crime knowingly to hire an illegal alien to an unpaid internship just as much as as a real paid job.

    Menendez, D-N.J., who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected in November with 58 percent of the vote.

    It must be all those white liberals in New Jersey who are right on the vestibule of becoming white nationalists but just can’t stomach the concept of being in the same room as a creationist or pro-lifer from the South, so they run right back into the arms of open borders non-whites.

    • IstvanIN

      Most of NJ, from my observations, is majority non-white and therefore will vote Demoncrat.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      The illegal alien charge is irrelevant, as the intern was a convicted sex-offender. That makes him instantly a deportable undesireable alien. I don’t recall hearing that the US has such a desperate shortage of rapists that we need to import them.

      • Bill

        You’re right. We actually elected one to President not long ago and he was a home grown Arkansas boy.

      • Howard W. Campbell

        This poor undocumented worker was just here doing a job that Americans won’t do.

        • Really , I am quite sure that there were many US citizens who applied for that job.

          • Howard W. Campbell

            Crystal, a little sarcasm goes a long way. Can we realistically believe that a US Senator doesn’t have the ability to find out ANYTHING about a potential staff member or intern? Even if the offense was committed in Peru, I would imagine that his office could get that information.

            I had a buddy from high school who almost landed in Juvie for taking his sister’s car for a joyride when he was 12. Supposedly, the records were sealed; but when he applied for a position within the military that required a very high security clearance, they had the files in short order. (Footnote, he did disclose the offense and was able to change fields after his first enlistment was complete).

            With a little digging, they probably could have found out if Mr. Sanchez Zavaleta shaved gang symbols into the fur of a neighbors dog when he was 10.

    • Bill

      I’m sure the brain dead senator doesn’t think he did anything wrong. After all, allowing a criminal felon, a sex offender, and illegal go without a criminal background check wander the halls and offices of the Senate building and who knows what other sensitive areas is no big deal, right?

  • I checked a number of pro illegal immigrant websites and I have not seen one of them try to stop this guy’s deportation. I wonder why?

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Could this be because anyone expressing much in the way of public sympathy for a convicted rapist only ends up looking like an idiot?

  • The__Bobster

    Sen. Pumpkinhead also got in trouble recently for stiffing hookers while in a foreign country. It didn’t hurt him, though, as the idiots in New Jersey voted for him anyway.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    This predator must be very well connected to get a position as a volunteer for a US senator OR, he was brought in to commit sex crimes that Americans won’t do.

    Menendez told MSNBC that his staff learned of the situation on Monday . .

    Liar Barney Frank had the same “lapse in knowledge” regarding his housemate.

    As for Menendez, Slug of the Senate:

    As for allegations that Menendez short-changed prostitutes in the Dominican Republic for services rendered, the Senator snorted, ‘get real. I might pay $500 in New Jersey, but that’s not a fair price in the Dominican Republic. When you adjust for the lower standard of living there and the fact that prostitution is not illegal I think everyone would have to agree that the $100 I gave each of them was very generous.

    Menendez expressed confidence that ‘this attempt by right-wingers to discredit my choice of recreational activities abroad won’t derail my reelection bid. The voters of New Jersey know me. They know I’m the one who can best represent their values in Washington.’

    Unfortunately, Menendez was right and returned to the senate by the voters of New Jersey.

    Ain’t life in 0bama’s Amerika grand?

    Now, get back to work you racists!! Your country is broke and needs your tax dollars!


    • razorrare

      OT: Bon…received your latest post and i posted a reply but it isnt showing up…whenever i post a reply to someone where i have “loaded more comments” it never shows…only when i make a reply to the initial first 25 posts without having to hit “load more comments”…i tried “best” “newest” “oldest” to see if your post to me would show in the first 25 but it didnt…somebody needs to get to work on this problem…here is my reply to you…

      Bon…Thanks for the link…to say i am surprized & dissapointed in David Irvings thoughts on gun control concerning the latest school shooting is an understatement…it certainly casts a shadow on his good judgement…if anyone should know better it would be him…Actually,i am at a loss for words…I still respect him greatly as a Historian who sacrificed much to report & research honestly on the “Jewish Holocaust”—rather than being another accepted house scholar and establishment historian…

  • Greg Thomas

    Menendez didn’t know his illegal invading intern was a convicted sex offender because he never checked. Menendez is an open borders traitor, who despises our immigration laws and scoffs at US sovereignty. He has zero credibility, especially since he advocates amnesty on
    behalf of millions of illegal invading hispanics, squatting on US soil.

    My guess is that there are other illegal invaders working for Menendez. Someone in a position of authority should check that out.

  • William Allingham

    if they were to trow out the ones who damage the american dream they would start with menendez, ofcourse he knew everything but he thinks that he can get away with it, that’s routine for him and perhaps he and all his colleagues have done the same thing of hiring illegals many times (anyway if they get caught they just have to invent a story and with the authorities on his side they can even delay an arrest).

  • ageofknowledge

    Is there ANY evil a Hispanic politician can commit and still NOT be voted into office by his Hispanic constituents? I haven’t found one yet.