Senate Passes Bill Targeting Foreign People who Interfere in US Elections
Yesterday June 3, 2019 the US Senate passed the “DETER Act” or “Defending Elections against Trolls from Enemy Regimes Act” aiming to “designate foreign persons who improperly interfere in United States elections as inadmissible aliens” (1). The act also says that any alien who “violates Federal criminal, voting rights,… interferes with a general or primary Federal, State, or local election or caucus” will be deportable (1). The bill was brought to the floor by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sponsored by both parties including Republican Senators Lindsay Graham and Chuck Grassley and Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Patrick Leahy, and passed the Senate in a unanimous vote (2). This DETER Act is the first in response to the reveal by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 Presidential election that “[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election… by the purchase of political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities, as well as the staging of political rallies inside the United States” among other tactics (3).