Legal Uncertainties Increase For Orosco, Babeu

Jim Burroway

February 23rd, 2012

The Arizona Daily Star looked into the 10-year tourist visa that Jose Orosco holds:

Tucson immigration attorney Mo Goldman explained to me that no 10-year visa would permit a visaholder to stay in the country longer than six months at a time.

A border-crossing card is valid for 10 years but permits a holder to stay in the country only up to 30 days. The holder must remain in the border zone, which does not stretch as far north Phoenix, Goldman said. If the person fills out an I-94 form and is permitted into the country with a 10-year tourist visa, the holder can stay up to six months at a time but then must return to their country of origin. Neither visa permits the holder to work while in the country.

There is a way for a person to extend his stay beyond six months, but even that extension only allows six additional months, Goldman said.

All of this raises some serious questions about whether Orosco is in this country legally. It is also raising questions about whether Babeu, who made a huge splash as an anti-illigal immigration spokesperson, harbored an illegal immigrant:

“I think the sheriff’s got a problem if that’s what was going on. He’s got a big problem,” (immigration attorney David) Leopold said. “If they indicted him and charged him, there might be some meat to it.”

It’s possible that Babeu could say that the subject never came up or that he was fooled by his ex-boyfriend. But even that might be a hard sell, given Babeu’s expertise on immigration matters and his role as an investigator.

Plus, Leopold said, the subject almost always comes up. “Based on my experience with families with people that don’t have documents, it comes up pretty quickly,” he said. “It’s rare that it doesn’t. And especially if you’re involved in an intimate relationship.”


February 23rd, 2012

Shaun Babeu, Paul’s brother, also hired Orozco to minor work on his 2010 campaign for Justice of the Peace.

The Babeu brothers are inseparable (they lived together during this period), and their political operations are conjoined at the pelvis. It’s hard to imagine that Shaun hired Jose without Paul’s knowledge &/or at his behest. I suspect that, as this story develops, we’ll be hearing about more channels through which Babeu funneled campaign money to Orozco.

Timothy Kincaid

February 23rd, 2012

This is a VERY valid question.

If Babeu were enforcing immigration policy against those who violate it, but making an exception for Orozco, this would be a stark case of abuse of power, one every bit as illegal as threatening Orozco.

I’m not yet convinced that is the case, however. While David Leopold has a good many opinions, he can hardly be considered an unbiased source on Babeu or others that he refers to as “the radical anti-immigrant fringe.”

So for now I’ll go with the Muckraker’s secondary source, UC Davis Law dean Kevin Johnson: “He may have overstayed his visa and be undocumented. It would be hard to say without lots more facts, however.”


February 23rd, 2012

It appears that the sheriff has a lot of questions to answer in all this mess and it will not get sorted out before the election. I think he can forget about running for Congress this time around. He has a lot of damage control to attend to. Some may even begin to call for his removal from office.

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