2012 Election | Arizona | Immigration | Mexico | Paul Babeu | Phoenix

Anti-Immigration Sheriff Paul Babeu's Gay Affair With Undocumented Immigrant

SheriffBabeuSheriff Paul Babeu, of Pinal County, AZ, is one of the most recognized faces of American anti-immigration sentiment. He's been a FOX News regular. He appeared in a John McCain campaign ad calling for a border fence. In January, Babeu announced his run for the United States Congress in a macho press release headed "It's Time For a New Sheriff In Washington," in which he decried the "400,000 illegal crossings into our state every year."

Well. According to a story broken this week in the Phoenix New Times, Babeu spent much of the last decade in a long-term gay relationship with an undocumented immigrant named Jose, whom Babeu threatened with deportation after their relationship ended.

From The Phoenix New Times:

He says [Babeu's] lawyer Chris DeRose demanded he sign an agreement that he would never breathe a word about the affair. But Jose (New Times is withholding his last name because Babeu and his attorney have challenged his legal status) refused.

The 34-year-old from central Mexico charges that the sheriff's lawyer warned against mentioning the affair with Babeu. DeRose said gossip about Babeu would focus attention on Jose, attention that could result in his deportation, Jose says.

... Babeu didn't respond to requests for comment by publication time for this article, but his attorney, DeRose, says the dispute between Jose and the sheriff concerned Jose's work on Babeu's websites. He says Jose was a former volunteer who hacked into a campaign website.

DeRose didn't immediately address the other claims against him and the sheriff, except to say, "I never threatened to deport anybody" and that "[Babeu's] not threatening anybody."

Babeu and Jose allegedly met on Gay.com in 2006. At some point, Jose began doing web work for Babeu, maintaining his campaign websites, Facebook profile and Twitter feed. Their relationship began to disintegrate after Jose discovered Babeu's profile on Adam4Adam and created a false profile to see if Babeu was amenable to an affair. After many messages and explicit photos exchanged between Babeu and Jose's alter-ego (including Babeu's self-portrait, above), Jose's alter-ego arranged a date with Babeu at a steak house. (Babeu told Jose's alter-ego to "pack an overnight bag.") Babeu showed up and was shocked to discover Jose in the parking lot.

After the couple split, Jose began posting disparaging remarks about Babeu online. Texts exchanged by the men during that time are both sad and illuminating. From New Times:

Jose shared text messages between him and Babeu with New Times. A September 4, 2011, text from the sheriff reads: "You can never have business after this and you will harm me and many others in the process . . . including yourself & your family."

A couple of minutes later, Babeu followed with: "And you say you have loved me? Papi . . . this is no good."

Jose responded: "Good threats. Wont work. Im already hurt me . . . and you didn't care."

They exchanged more texts on September 6.

Jose: "Dont threat me. Thats illegal. Im just speaking . . . true."

Babeu: "You have crossed the line. Better get an attorney. You brother will also be contacted."

Since then, Jose claims he's been a constant target of harassment by Babeu and his lawyer. New Times writer Monica Alonzo solicited comment from Nancy Jo-Merritt, a "long-time Phoenix immigration attorney":

"If what [Babeu's attorney] says is correct [about Jose's being illegal], either the sheriff had a long relationship with someone he knew was undocumented, while all the time being Mr. Bluster about the border and using it for political gain," or he threatened to deport someone he just broke up with, Merritt says.

"That's just the worst kind of hypocrisy."

She adds that federal immigration-enforcement agents have better things to do than "take care of Babeu's boyfriends."

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  1. If he's an illegal immigrant, he has no rights, and deserves none of my sympathy. My family waited in line for years and went through the proper system out of respect for this country. Illegals with a sense of entitlement need to be checked. Every single country on this planet has laws that we all need to abide by. sorry illegals, you're no more special.

    Posted by: ThatCat song | Feb 19, 2012 1:07:06 AM

  2. Once Sheriff, Now Mall-Cop. I bet Heinz' political career is toast as well.

    Posted by: mike flower | Feb 19, 2012 1:37:16 AM

  3. Let's repeat again for the slow posters. Jose says he's in the US legally. His lawyer says he's legal. Jose is claiming Paul Bibeu threatened to deport him & make up a trumped up charge of saying his visa expired, but in reality his visa had not expired. Now who knows what's true at this stage, but could you please stop bellyaching about illegal immigration until you find out if the people in the story are actually illegal.

    Also if someone is abusing their power then I'm going to have sympathy for the victim no matter what, You all are beginning to sound like the Republicans who refused to pass the Violence against Women Act (against domestic abuse) because it included protection for Gays & illegal aliens.

    Posted by: sara | Feb 19, 2012 2:33:20 AM

  4. So many people didn't even read the article. They just saw "immigrant" and started screaming like wild rabid dogs. I'll never understand why Americans, who stole the land they are living on by force from peaceful natives who welcomed them with open arms, have so much animus against immigrants. And are proud of it! Or are you people just scared that they'll do to you what you did to the native Amercans? Afraid they'll rise up and massacre you, spread smallpox, etc. like your ancestors did?

    Posted by: Dev | Feb 19, 2012 5:30:17 AM

  5. I'm sorry but Jose comes off a little unstable. Jose mentions they had a few dates and lost touch. That's not a relationship. I may not agree with the sherrifs political views but why drag him through the mud. He sent Jose a Christmas card and he felt threatened? Give me a break. Jose just casually went to adam4adam and found his profile? Yeah thats plausible. Posting nasty comments about the sherrif on websites? Thats an act of someone scorned not threatened. Also, the person who posted as Paul's sister here is obviously Jose. Move on with your life.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 19, 2012 6:18:08 AM

  6. The story posted here is headlined:

    "Anti-Immigration Sheriff Paul Babeu's Gay Affair With Undocumented Immigrant"

    Undocumented Immigrant pretty much say ILLEGAL!

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 19, 2012 6:26:08 AM

  7. Why are there always a lot of racists on gay blogs? I feel like I accidentally walked into a GOPROUD convention here.

    The story is the hypocrisy. Paul Babeu regularly demonized latino immigrants on Fox News and other platforms while he was dating one.

    Since Paul use to be in the military, I wonder what he thinks about most of the GOP voting against repealing DADT?

    Posted by: josh | Feb 19, 2012 9:06:26 AM

  8. I don't know whats worse. The Self loathing Sheriff with the south of the border attraction, or the illegal immigrant/Uncle Tom who is smart enough to web design, and doesn't have a clue that the propaganda he is helping disseminate all over the web is against his brothers.

    Posted by: Ed | Feb 19, 2012 9:34:01 AM

  9. I believe that Paul's sister is backing up the claim that the Sheriff was threatening his ex's during the campaign to hide the fact he was gay. Even if out, he wasn't that well known at the time.

    As for land stealing, let's keep it real folks. The always saintly Canadians "stole" Canada from the natives (though they recently gave some back); the Spanish conquered Mexico, Central America, the American West and Florida, most of the Caribbean and a huge chuck of South America (and that's just this hemisphere); the Brits and Scots conquered Ireland; the Brits conquered Scotland; the Normans conquered Anglo-Saxon Britain who had run ins with the Danes who had trouble with the Vikings who entered after the Romans left who killed more than a few Celts, etc, etc.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2012 9:55:24 AM

  10. Has Babeu ever said anything anti-gay? I couldn't find anything, so he might not be a hypocrite. If Jose had a visa (or an expired one), it was fully possible he was legal at the time they were dating. Furthermore, I'm not really sure what to make of setting up a fake profile to score a date; seems creepy and stalker-ish. Given the fact that they then went in and had dinner, I don't buy it. Sounds like one of them was a lot more involved than the other, and got burned.

    Also, I'd like to know more about the abuse of power. All I've seen were those 4 texts, which could be wildly out of context. The sister's letter doesn't mean anything either; that might just be sibling hate.

    All in all, I don't believe we can say yet whether this is the scandal its being made out to be.

    Posted by: BamBam | Feb 19, 2012 9:55:38 AM

  11. Mr. Thorp:

    'Macho' press release? Does masculinity or the display of masculinity disturb you? And what exactly was 'macho' about that press release?


    Anti-Immigration? Did you forget the 'illegal' part? Anti-immigration or anti-ILLEGAL immigration?


    Little Kiwi:

    Is everything ultimately race, skin color and gender with you? Do you hate white males as much as your posts imply? Why? To be honest, life in most 'dark skinned' nations for gays and lesbians is a lot worse than say the U.S., western Europe. If you're gay or lesbian, where would you rather live: Swaziland or Switzerland?

    And, are there no 'dark skinned' hypocrites? Only 'white' males?


    What you have here is a former lover's quarrel. This character Babeau should have known better than to date an illegal immigrant, especially when he crusades against illegal immigration, which us indeed a serious problem both economically and socially not just in the southwest but all over the U.S. What it shows is he doesn't hate so-called Hispanics, but he did show a serious lack of ethics and self control. He knew he could have been blackmailed and have his whole career crash. Sad part for him is, most people wouldn't have cared if they knew he was gay.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 19, 2012 10:19:11 AM

  12. 'Progressives' are OBSESSED with demonizing and scapegoating white males. White males are their avowed enemy. If you're a 'progressive' white male, you must tow the line, keep your head down, don't be 'macho', or the 'minorites' and lesbians will scream in your face. If this Babeau character refused to date a 'dark skinned' [how do we know Jose isn't white BTW? Many 'Hispanics' are white, the ancestors of the conquistadors and later European immigration.] he'd be 'racist', when/if he does, he's still 'racist' taking advantage of a poor immigrant.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 19, 2012 10:24:52 AM

  13. I think you need to read the article a little more closely. The immigrant contends he has an active visa. The sheriff is merely taking advantage of his immigrant status to intimidate him.

    Posted by: William | Feb 19, 2012 10:25:04 AM

  14. @William,

    The 'illegal' implication is all over this article and comments posted. Jose may well be a legal resident. I have nothing against Jose.

    1) If Jose is a legal resident, he has nothing to worry about. He could have just told his ex-BF to F off., He chose instead to basically stalk the dude, then destroy his career and future prospects. Jose did this because he was ostensibly angry that Babeau was cheating on him. There's of course two sides to every story, but what this comes don to is a he said/ she said lover's quarrel. If Babeau was actively and publicly anti-gay I would understand the reasons for 'outing' him and destroying his campaign. He wasn't.

    If you're gay, lesbian, black, Hispanic, female, you must be 100% 'progressive' and tow the party line, or else...that's ultimately what's going on here. You must remain on the 'progressive' plantation. You have a ball and chain attached to you. You must never stray too far from the 'progressive' plantation, or else....

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 19, 2012 10:35:15 AM

  15. Apart from everything else, if Jose's assertions are true, the sheriff's actions are extortionate. You can't threaten to reveal a secret (including that someone is here illegally) in exchange for not revealing your sexual orientation - especially when you've been involved in a relationship with the very person who is allegedly here illegally.

    This from someone who wants a fence along the border.

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 19, 2012 11:41:54 AM

  16. RATBASTARD: I lived in AZ for many years. I can assure you, the animus against brown people is not relegated solely to the illegal. My nephew identifies as white. He is half European Caucasian, half Mexican Latino. He vehemently identifies as white not only because he can "pass" but also because his racist father rarely missed an opportunity to exalt his racial superiority over his children's mother, in their presence (sick, powerf**ker relationship that was). The rhetoric about people of color is very similar to what I heard when living in SC. Funny thing is, in my business endeavors in both states, who do you suppose were the most trustworthy, hard-working, and reliable? In AZ in particular, I'm sure that many did not have "papers." I get that for some people, the issue begins and ends with legal status. It's hard for me to equate "illegal" automatically with scum. My great grandparents came to America in search of a better life. I understand that desire.

    From my reading thus far, it seems that Jose did/does have papers. But papers can go away. I also get right now that this is a he said, he said situation. If it is true, however, that Bebeu used his power to intimidate, that is worth looking into, especially given his positions on illegal immigration. That fact that he is "gay" just makes the story "juicier." It would be just as worth looking into if Babeu's paramour had been Latina.

    I haven't seen anything (yet) that shows that Bebeu was hypocritically anti-gay. It makes me uncomfortable when someone is outted for reasons other than anti-gay hypocrisy. But he seems quite the right-wing darling, who recently spoke at CPAC. I don't think they would have allowed him to speak if he had been out. On his election website, there is nothing about his personal life. If he were heterosexual, you know that there would be commentary about his lovely wife and adorable children. Any political fallout that remains, assuming his is innocent of any intimidation, will be because he has been outted as gay. He says that he should be judged on his record, not his sexuality. Why can that only be while keeping your mouth publicly shut? How does one reconcile being a man of honor while working for a party that wants to keep you in the closet? Many supporters have said that his sexuality doesn't matter. Would they have said the same if he had been out from the beginning? And if they wouldn't, what is wrong with this picture? Where is the comfort of being an exception, one of "the good" ones and therefore acceptable, while working for a party that has the rule that gay is ultimately wrong? I just don't get it.

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 19, 2012 2:44:02 PM

  17. This is not Paul Babeu"s first sex scandal, just the first to make headlines. I think someone should ask him what happened at The DeSisto School with a student, just before leaving his position as Head Master.

    Posted by: A. Former Student | Feb 19, 2012 2:44:26 PM

  18. I do not understand why people state that because people oppose illegal immigration that they hate 'brown people'. I am opposed to illegal immigration period. It drains the economy and if it is not stemmed we will continue to bleed jobs and tax dollars we can no longer afford. I agree that we should continue to have legal immigration and that it should favor those in our own hemisphere, brown, black, or white whatever. I also happen to oppose providing in-state tuition to illegals, call me stupid. I live in Oklahoma but have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend a school in Texas or Florida. Does that make sense or is that fair? Seriously, get over the fact that illegal immigration happens to involve predominantly Mexican or Central Americans. It is not hate, it is fairness and economic reality. If we were to provide transportation to the most worst off people in the world, say Somalians or Congolese, would we then be haters or blacks? If the immigrants we opposed were southeast asians would be be 'yellow haters'? I have friends and family of all of thest peoples and I am not a hater of any. I do believe that illegal immigration must be stemmed however, regardless of who the illegal immigrants are. Period. No hate, just reality!

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 19, 2012 6:03:56 PM

  19. So before we jump all over this guy based on an ex-boyfriend's allegations, let's see some facts. I find it hard to believe that Babeau would knowingly date someone with questionable status. To do so would so clearly put his job in jeopardy.

    The other side of the story is being told and we owe our gay brother the opportunity to tell his side of the tale.

    Posted by: Comaaz | Feb 19, 2012 9:04:55 PM

  20. And this isn't even a preview of the historical gay right wing. It's much deeper. Please Wiki Cecil Rhodes to see what his attitude was towards the African people were. And virulent anti-Semitism has cropped up along the way. Read Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" to find out who the main players of The Night of Glass were. And on the African continent our main man in Africa of yore, the late Moise Tshombe, he of Zaire, hired mercs Time and Newsweek magazines pointed out were of interesting sexual orientation. So I shudder to think how he would vote on social issues to divert attention away from his private goings-on. Solomon said it best. There's nothing new under the sun!

    Posted by: Jon | Feb 19, 2012 9:43:44 PM

  21. I don't believe this Jose guy. He sounds like an entitled oppertunist who trapped the sheriff dude. Jose sounds completely unstable and I hope all future partners stay away from him. I don't see what the sheriff guy did wrong, other than one minor mistake in judgment. I do however see this Jose guy as calculating and kind of disturbed from reading this article.

    Posted by: TheVidProducer | Feb 20, 2012 3:47:42 AM

  22. There are definitely some allegations here that warrant investigation for possible official corruption, in terms of a sheriff allegedly making the threat, and being involved with a person allegedly in the US illegally. However, that does not justify the racist, partisan, and frankly homophobic comments on this story. References to the Sheriff's skin color are simply racist. So are the accusations that just because the Sheriff is White and believes in enforcing the immigration laws he somehow "hates on Brown people" or is a racist. References to the Sheriff's being on the "down low" etc. with his relationship are also homophobic--as if merely because the Sheriff didn't declare his sexuality to the world there was something sordid about his activities. The comments basically attacking the Sheriff for being conservative or republican or whatever are simply politically motivated. It's sad how ignorant many of the readers of this website are . . . .

    Posted by: James E. Pietrangelo, II | Feb 20, 2012 8:59:18 AM

  23. If Jose's assertions are accurate, Babeau could (and should) be in trouble. These statements would be extortionate. You can't threaten someone with deportation in order to get them to forgo making a statement. If it's true, there is criminality here. (What a shock - a cop who is about crime).

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 20, 2012 10:18:30 AM

  24. check out Santorum's college room mate... there is a story there

    Posted by: Andy | Feb 21, 2012 4:51:14 PM

  25. @Caskey

    Its because whoever wrote this article, is being very dishonest; which is of no surprise being that the writer- is most likely left-wing.

    First indicator of it being dishonest, is the fact that writer keeps saying "anti-immigration". It should say anti-ILLEGAL immigration.

    Secondly, this guy was no affair, they were together for quite awhile, and he stated how he loved him and all, but the writer left that out.

    The only thing he did do as far as politics goes, is step down as one of the backers of Romney's campaign; feeling him being gay would probably hurt Romney, who already isn't so liked, by stupid social conservatives.

    Posted by: Seth | Feb 22, 2012 2:24:56 PM

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