Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) brought up a deportation case involving a former intern for his colleague, Sen. Bob Mendez (D-NJ), while questioning DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The intern, Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, was a registered sex offender and undocumented immigrant. The Associated Press reported in January that documents showed agents discussing the" potential sensitivities surrounding the case," which came to their attention shortly before the 2012 election.
"If you were told a sex offender has a job working with children and if you have the legal authority to detain him on immigration violations why would anyone wait a month and a half before taking action?" Grassley asked.
Napolitano, who has denied political considerations were a factor in the case, said she only learned of delays in arresting the intern when the AP published its report. But she added that she was investigating why he wasn't detained and removed after he was determined to have sexually assaulted a minor years earlier, which she called "the real issue" in the case.