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Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

by Greg Siskind

Anti-Immigrant Arizona Sheriff May Have Helped Boyfriend Engage in Illegal Work

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 its 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. Its 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 hes engaging in gainful employment.

Moreover, Leopold said, if Babeu or anyone else knew about Orozcos immigration status and hired him anyway, they could face legal consequences of their own.

About The Author

Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.