Immigrants Showcased At RNC Weren’t Told It Was A Political Event
During the second night of the Republican National Convention, video was aired of Donald Trump participating in a naturalization ceremony for five immigrants as they became U.S. citizens. There are two problems with this: first, at least two of the participants didn’t know they were being used for a political event, and second, it was likely yet another violation of the Hatch Act under this president.
USA Today reported on the airing of the event, which was recorded Tuesday only hours before it was used as part of a partisan political convention. Taking place in the White House, with employees on the taxpayer dime, using this to promote Trump’s re-election campaign was likely a violation of laws that prevent the U.S. government from funding the promotion of a political candidate.
Trump’s administration has been accused of numerous violations of this, including, most recently, an investigation opened into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s appearance at the RNC while on State Department business in Israel.
However, there’s a second, and perhaps stranger, problem with this. The Wall Street Journal learned that the immigrants in the ceremony weren’t even aware that they were being used for political messaging.
Two of the participants, officially becoming American citizens, Sudha Narayanan and Neimat Awadelseid, spoke to WSJ, saying that it was only minutes before the ceremony that they found out Donald Trump would be present. Even then, they were not told the video would be aired as part of the Republican National Convention and treated as part of Trump’s re-election campaign. The two both told WSJ that they weren’t upset, and their citizenship was so new they were just happy to have completed the process and done it at a place as special as the White House.
As the New York Times reported, the convention has also featured video of Trump meeting with others, including healthcare workers; freed hostages who had been imprisoned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey; Jon Ponder, a felon seeking pardon and promoting an organization he created to help former inmates reintegrate into society; and others, many of which may also have been violations of the Hatch Act.