US May Start Asking Visa Applicants For Their Social Media History

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According to documents, the move is also likely to affect people who come to the United States for business or education purposes.

 

 

Ever since assuming office, President Donald Trump has been rolling out orders that will limit the entry of immigrants and refugees from some Muslim-majority countries

During his election campaign, Trump promised he would propose an “extreme vetting” system to prevent radicals from entering the United States as immigrants. 

Now as part of that promise, the State Department is expected to issue requirements to most immigrants and tourist applicants to state their social media handles, phone number and email address that they have used in the last five years on visa forms.

They will also be asked to list immigration problems they have had in the U.S. or any other country in the world, including deportations, and any potential family connections to terrorism.

The proposal is set to affect nearly 15 million foreigners every year.

According to documents, the move will also likely affect people who come to the United States for business or education purposes. However, people who have diplomatic and official visas may be exempted from the process.

The proposal will be open for 60-day public comment period on the Federal Register website from March 30. People can also send comments regarding the requirements to PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov.

The policy is expected to be finalized later this year.

“This upgrade to visa vetting is long-overdue, and it’s appropriate to apply it to everyone seeking entry, because terrorism is a worldwide problem. The aim is to try to weed out people with radical or dangerous views,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.

As part of the same promise, in April 2017, it was announced Trump's “extreme vetting” of foreigners traveling into the country may soon include forcing tourists to disclose contacts on their mobile phones, allowing officials to have access to foreigners' social media passwords and financial records. It also subjected travelers to questions regarding their ideological preferences.

The proposals stem from Trump’s initial travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier this year, Trump addressed a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, regarding his plan to overhaul the immigration system using hard-line tactics against foreign Muslims.

While outlining his plan to defeat Islamic terrorism, Trump discussed how he would propose an “extreme vetting” system and an “ideological test” to prevent radicals from entering the United States as immigrants.

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters

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