Menendez intern arrested by immigration officials (VIDEO)


US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks about the announcement that the Democratic leadership will not bring energy reform legislation to the floor for a vote before the summer recess at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 3, 2010 in Washington, DC.


Chip Somodevilla

US immigration officials have arrested an intern for Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez for being an undocumented immigrant.

Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old from Peru, is also a registered sex offender, The Associated Press reported.

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He was arrested last Thursday outside his home in New Jersey and now faces deportation.

Menendez told MSNBC he didn't know Sanchez had entered the US on an expired visa until Wednesday.

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He stressed the teen was an unpaid, college intern.

"So it's not like he's a staff, paid person," Menendez said. "We have a whole bunch of college interns. We give them some experience in the office."

Re-elected in November, Menendez has been a strong advocate for immigration reform, according to The Hill.

A US official told the AP that the Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest Sanchez until after Election Day.

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