On Wednesday, the Associate Press broke the story that Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old unpaid intern working in Sen. Robert Menendez’s (R-N.J.) office, was not only an illegal alien, but also a registered sex offender. Moreover, the AP story indicated that ICE agents were prepared to arrest Sanchez in October, but were directed by high ranking officials at DHS to wait until after Election Day.

Appearing on the friendly airwaves of MSNBC shortly after the news broke, Menendez asserted that his office only learned of Sanchez’s immigration and criminal status on Dec. 10, four days after Sanchez was arrested by ICE. Menendez twice explained the hiring of Sanchez saying, “We certainly wouldn’t have known through any background checks, since he is a minor, about any sex offender status.” Later in the interview, Menendez again stressed, “There is no way we could know about any allegation, as juvenile, of what his background would be in terms of any sort of criminality.”

Then, in the very next breath, Menendez argues that this case is precisely why, in his view, we need a comprehensive amnesty for illegal aliens. “It does speak volumes about why we need comprehensive immigration reform because I can’t know who is here to pursue the American dream versus who is here to do damage to it if I cannot get people to come forth out of the shadows and go through a criminal background check and…make sure that those who have criminal backgrounds get deported.”

Huh? Didn’t Menendez say twice that background checks would not have revealed Sanchez’s criminal record? So what good is doing criminal background checks? In this case we are talking about someone who was found guilty of multiple counts of forcible sex with a child. How can Menendez, or any other member of Congress arguing for amnesty contend that bringing illegal aliens “out of the shadows” will make us all safer because they’ll have to go through background checks, when, by his own admission, background checks would not even reveal a juvenile history of predatory sex offenses?