Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission requesting that it investigate the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for having “knowingly hired” an illegal alien, Cindy Nava, to help craft the committee’s 2016 political message and communications. Judicial Watch filed its complaint on August 25, 2015.
A June 8, 2015, story in The Washington Post reported that the DNC hired Nava with full knowledge of what DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) termed Nava’s “undocumented status.” The news report details that “Despite not yet attaining legal status, Nava is working for the Democratic National Committee as one of a crop of fellows from around the country helping the party organize ahead of a presidential election that President Obama predicted would feature immigration as a major issue.” The Spanish language newspaper El Nuevo Herald reports that Nava would help coordinate DNC outreach to “women, youth, and Hispanics.”
Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from participating “directly or indirectly in the decision-making process” of federal, state, or local election-related activities.
The Judicial Watch FEC complaint charges:
The Democratic National Committee knowingly hired a Foreign National to assist, directly or indirectly, in setting the Committee’s Public Policy Agenda for its Candidates, the National Committee, and its Associated Organizations.
The United States has prohibited non-citizen participation in election related activities for over fifty years. The United States Supreme Court has held that such prohibitions are legally permissible under the U.S. Constitution… In 2002, Congress expanded the prohibitions on foreign nationals… to include “anything of value” that “directly or indirectly” contributes to a political campaign… The Commission has stated “foreign nationals [cannot] direct, control, or otherwise participate directly or indirectly in the decision-making process of [a] PAC.
On its face, the DNC’s decision to hire Ms. Nava is in direct violation of this provision. The FEC should investigate this matter further to determine the full extent of Ms. Nava’s responsibilities, her relationship to the policy making team, and her effect on the 2016 DNC election strategy.
The Democratic National Committee is Willfully and Knowingly violating Federal Law and Contradicting Federal Policy by Permitting a Foreign National to Contribute to the Conventions Campaigns, Election Strategy, and Fundraising Efforts
The United States Congress created a federal offense to knowingly hire an illegal alien. It is against Federal law “to hire, or to recruit…, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien… There are two elements to this crime: (1) knowledge of the alien’s status, and (2) an employment offer…
Thus, the DNC is violating federal law by hiring Cindy Nava. Her fellowship constitutes expenditures under the FEC regulation, and therefore these illegal expenditures are within the scope of FEC regulations… They have actively employed Ms. Nava knowing that she lacked proper authorization to work in the United States.
Judicial Watch’s request for a “full, formal investigation” concludes, “These actions are particularly egregious because the DNC flagrantly promotes their illegal activities, lawlessness, and disrespect for the rule of law.”