“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations.”
A complaint filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission alleges the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is in violation of federal election law by employing foreign nationals in advisory campaign positions, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
At issue is the employment of Sanders’ new deputy national press secretary Maria Belén Sisa, an illegal immigrant from Argentina currently in the United States under DACA protections.
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According to FEC rules, foreign nationals are prohibited from participating in the decision-making process of election activities unless they are lawful permanent residents of the United States.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed the complaint, claims that Sisa’s advisory role in the campaign is in violation of FEC rules. The complaint calls the violations “direct and serious.”
“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint says.
Included in the complaint are allegation that Sanders’ 2016 campaign also ran afoul of FEC regulations. Sisa was also employed during the 2016 campaign, as were foreign nationals Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas.
Vargas served as the the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist, while Andiola was press secretary for Latino outreach. Like Sisa, both were in the US under DACA protections.
“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2),” the complaint says, adding that this is “violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016.”
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The complaint concludes by urging the FEC to impose sanctions on the campaign.
“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” it says. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”
In 2017, Sisa stirred up public debate when she shared a photo to Facebook detailing how she’d paid $300 in taxes to the state of Arizona. Sisa described the stunt as an attempt to “bust” the myth that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes.
Earlier this month, she made waves again by questioning the loyalty of Jewish-Americans to the U.S.
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- Belen Sisa/Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont.: Instagram