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US arrests illegal immigrant Senate intern Last Updated : 13 Dec 2012 10:49:24 AM IST File Photo
A US lawmaker employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, is now under arrest by immigration authorities. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after the November 6 Election Day, a US official involved in the case has said.
Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old immigrant from Peru, was arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on December 6, two federal officials told the AP. Sanchez, who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa from Peru, is facing deportation and remains in custody. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of Sanchez's immigration case.
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to a request for further details.
Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected in November with 58 per cent of the vote. Congressional staffers who work for Menendez were notified about Sanchez's case shortly after the arrest. Sanchez told ICE agents that he worked on immigration issues for the senator. A spokesman for Menendez said he was looking into the matter.
Online jail records did not indicate whether Sanchez has an attorney. Immigration officials there were relaying a request from the AP to speak with Sanchez in jail.
The prosecutor's office in Hudson County, New Jersey 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.
The prosecutor's office confirmed to AP that Sanchez registered as a sex offender, although his name does not appear on the public registry.
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