Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now! (36101)

It’s a drama not even a Telemundo soap opera writer could have conceived. No, it’s no “When Harry Met Sally.” This drama is action-packed, R-rated and comedic, too. It’s all about the “Stomp Out the Illegal Aliens” hardliner, closeted gay Republican, Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu and his hypocrisy.

It seems that while Babeu, Fox News’ man on immigration, was busy bashing President Barack Obama for failing to secure the border and for suing Arizona over state Senate Bill 1070, he was having a hot sexual relationship with 34-year-old Mexican migrant “Jose,” whom he met while trolling the gay dating website Gay.com.

It was in October 2006, when Babeu, a conservative, right-wing immigration hardliner who endorses building a fence between Mexico and the United States, apparently extended an invitation for the two to get together. Jose, according to the Phoenix New Times, says that invitation developed into a steamy relationship complete with sexy texts, naked pictures going across the mobile sphere and, of course, secret sexual liaisons.

For me, the hypocrisy is not whether Babeu was on the down-low about his sexuality. The stunner was that he was having a relationship with an immigrant whose immigration status is questionable. One could not write a better script–to say it’s ironic and comedic is putting it lightly.

Jose claims he’s in the United States on a 10-year visa, but anyone with any sense of immigration laws knows there’s no such thing. You can either be on a visitor’s visa for six months at a time or you’re on a work visa. This means there’s a strong possibility that the right-wing Babeu, who turned up his nose at “illegal aliens” and was ready to chase them all out to the thrill of the right, had a lover who could be categorized as “illegal.”

Why else would have Babeu and his attorney, Chris DeRose, allegedly threatened the poor man with deportation?

But the drama could get even more intense. While the passion between the two has apparently long since cooled, there’s no denying that the heat of the law could be now turned up on Babeu.

Babeu claims that the only truth to Jose’s story is that he is gay and the two were lovers, but he says he never threatened him. Latino advocacy group Respect-Respeto does not believe this–along with the rest of us–and has sent a request to the U.S. Department of Justice for a probe into Babeu “for abuse of power.”

Babeu, for his part, wants Gila County Sheriff John Armer and County Attorney Daisey Flores to investigate the claims as well as possible crimes committed against him by his ex, whom the sheriff now accuses of improperly accessing his campaign website and social media accounts.

Whatever the outcome of this issue, there’s no denying the hypocrisy factor is at an all-time high. It’s a thread that seems to run through the right-wingers, who tout themselves as defenders of morality and family values and against illegal immigration but at the end of the day are nothing but charlatans. One can’t help but laugh out loud at the twist of events, except that it’s not really funny–not for Jose and certainly not for immigrants.

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.