Border security

'Additional vetting' already happening, DHS officials say

Department of Homeland Security officials tell Fox News "additional vetting" procedures already are being implemented at U.S. border crossings, even as the administration’s broader ‘travel ban’ is on hold in the courts.

President Trump often called for "extreme vetting" during the presidential campaign and once in office attempted to implement a travel ban for several Muslim-majority countries via executive order.

A temporary injunction was slapped on the order’s “Section Five,” which calls for a "country by country review," under which individuals from certain countries could have been subject to additional scrutiny. A revised order also is on hold in the courts.

However, DHS spokesman David Lapan told reporters Tuesday that some vetting policies at U.S. borders have changed.

Lapan would not go into detail about the additional procedures, saying, "That, we're not making public."

DHS officials told Fox News the additional vetting entails steps they already have the authority to implement absent an update to the actual statute.

"We use algorithms to determine who might need additional screening," one DHS official said.

Any foreign national traveling to the U.S. from overseas is potentially subject to these additional vetting procedures.

The comments come after the State Department also announced new proposals last week to boost screening of certain visa applicants.

The State Department published a notice in the Federal Register seeking feedback on proposals to have certain applicants provide information including: social media handles, phone numbers and emails for the last five years, prior passport numbers and additional information about their family, past travel and employment.

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.