The federal government is proposing a new expansion of the information gathered from immigrants applying for U.S. visas that could require them to report social media identities. If the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the proposal, most immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants will be required to report all social media profiles over the last five years.
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The step could go a long way in vetting those seeking to enter the country. If you liked a jihadist group on Facebook or communicated with known terrorists, a record of that could be online. This new proposal could offer some real insight into a person's history and way of thinking that has not been available.
The rules introduced last May instructed consular officials to collect social media identifiers only when they determined "that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting." The new proposal could also have some chilling effects on free speech, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
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"People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official," Hina Shamsi, director ACLU’s National Security Project said. Trump's tough on crime policy has also seen changes in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE announced Thursday that if a pregnant illegal woman is arrested she would be detained.
This is the exact opposite of Obama-era legislation which allowed for the automatic release of immigrants who were pregnant regardless of legal status. Again, ACLU cried out that the move was unjust saying, "This new policy further exposes the cruelty of Trump’s detention and deportation force by endangering the lives of pregnant immigrant women."
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