BY CHRISTINE VALDEZ
U.S Sen. Robert Menendez has just lost a member of his staff and could be deported out of the country.
On Wednesday Sen. Menendez received news that one of his interns had been arrested moments before a television interview, according to The Record. The intern known as Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta,18, had been working as an un-paid intern within the senator’s staff.
The Associated Press reported that the intern had been arrested on Dec.6 and had overstayed his visa and was a registered sex offender. Sanchez could be deported back to his native country Peru. The initial arrest had been delayed until after the election.
“We ask every intern what their status is, are they a citizen or are they a legal permanent resident,” said Menendez to the Record. “He clearly didn’t share his status with us at all.”
According to the AP, Sanchez has applied for permission to stay in the country as part of President Obama’s policy to allow young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and are allowed permission to work in the country for up to two years. Due to his sex offence in 2010, Sanchez was not eligible.
Sanchez had registered as a sex offender following his violation in 2010 but had been prosecuted as a juvenile and those records were not publicly accessible.
Sanchez had been living in Jersey City and was interning at the senator’s Newark Office according to NJ.com. Menendez’s Newark office had been called by immigration informing of the arrest.
Spokeswoman Tricia Enright mentioned since Sanchez was an unpaid intern a process used to verify the legal status of paid employees could not be used.
“No staff member responsible for managing the internship program had reason to believe, based on their interview process, that Sanchez had any criminal background or immigration issues,” said Enright to The Record. “Clearly Mr. Sanchez sought to deceive our staff.”