Tuesday, January 15

The U.S. is a nation of laws, not...uh, wait...

If you're still laboring under the comforting delusion that the United States is "a nation of laws, not men," this should clear things up for ya:
Remember that election back in November? Turns out a certain senator running for re-election--a strong pro-immigration senator--had a volunteer male intern who turned out to be a sex offender. And also an immigrant.

Homeland Security agents were about to arrest the guy when a warning came down from an unnamed person in Washington that the arrest might have "significant interest" from news organizations. (Gee, ya think?)

Duly warned, DHS postponed the arrest until after the election. The senator was re-elected, as expected.

Now why would someone in DC intervene to delay that arrest? No one's telling, and DHS hasn't even revealed who ordered them to delay it.

And won't.

Reason: the senator in question is a Democrat, and the Dems didn't want to risk the guy losing. After all, you never can tell when one extra vote will be needed to pass a controversial bill, like...Obamacare.

Here's the AP article:

Federal agents ordered delay in Senate intern's arrest, documents show
--Associated Press, January 15, 2013

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.

When the AP first disclosed the delayed arrest last month, the Department of Homeland Security said the AP story was "categorically false."

***
After the AP story ran, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the Obama administration for details about the incident.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Newark had arranged to arrest Sanchez [the intern] at the local prosecutor's office less 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."

The senators, in a letter to DHS, said the agency documents showed that Sanchez's arrest was delayed by six weeks, as AP had reported. [Remember, DHS had first said the AP story was "categorically false."]

In a letter Monday, Assistant DHS Secretary Nelson Peacock said an allegation that the government delayed Sanchez's arrest "for political purposes" was categorically false.

The documents provided to Congress do not indicate why the arrest should have been delayed or whether anyone outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- such as in the headquarters offices of the Homeland Security Department -- was consulted.

Menendez, D-NJ, who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected on Nov. 6 with 58 percent of the vote. Menendez said he learned about the case from the AP and knew nothing about whether or why DHS had delayed the arrest.

***
During the final weeks of President George W. Bush's administration, ICE was criticized for delaying the arrest of President Barack Obama's aunt, who had ignored an immigration judge's order to leave the country several years earlier after her asylum claim was denied. She subsequently won the right to stay in the United States after an earlier deportation order, and there was no evidence of involvement by the White House.

In that case, the Homeland Security Department had imposed an unusual directive days before the 2008 election requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants including [Obama's aunt]. The directive from ICE expressed concerns about "negative media or congressional interest," according to a copy of that directive obtained by AP. The department lifted the immigration order weeks later.
Interestingly, the AP article doesn't mention the senator's political party until the 9th paragraph.

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