Sen. Robert Menendez employed an unpaid intern in his Senate office who was an illegal immigrant and a registered sex offender, The Associated Press has learned.
Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old immigrant from Peru, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6, two federal officials said.
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.
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.