This story's getting more interesting. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Bebeu, the younger version of Sheriff Joe, made headlines last week when it was revealed he was gay and was threatening his ex-boyfriend, a Mexican national, with deportation if he went public. Babeu admitted the affair, but denied the deportation allegation and noted as well that his boyfriend was not in the US illegally. A story in today's Talking Points Memo notes that Sheriff Babeu as well as his brother Shaun Babeu, also a politician in Arizona, may have been paying Jose Orozco for web site services. Orozco is in the US on a visitor status which does not permit work.
My friend David Leopold explains the issue to TPM:
Leopold, the Ohio immigration attorney, told TPM it’s not necessarily illegal for Orozco to have created the business. Foreign visitors are generally allowed to own businesses in the US regardless of their visa status. It’s even probably legal for Orozco to have taken money from someone, Leopold said. The problem is in where the work took place. If it happened in the US, then Orozco could be in trouble.
“I think where he crosses the line is when he goes back to the office and starts building a website,” Leopold said. “Now he’s engaging in gainful employment.”
Moreover, Leopold said, if Babeu or anyone else knew about Orozco’s immigration status and hired him anyway, they could face legal consequences of their own.