Published March 30, 2018
The State Department is expected to publish a set of proposals Friday that would require some tourists and immigrants to provide information on their social media accounts before visiting the U.S., The Washington Times reported.
The proposals are part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to implement "extreme vetting" on immigration, the department said.
Travelers would also be required to provide phone numbers, email addresses, international travel and immigration issues within the last five years.
Travelers would also be required to answer questions about possible family connections to terrorism.
“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 weed out people with radical or dangerous views,” Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the paper.
According to the documents, approximately 14 million people would be affected by the new proposals and another 700,000 would be affected in the immigration system.
Don Crocetti, a former senior fraud investigator for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said an individual’s refusal to turn over their social media accounts couldn’t alone be used to deny approval.
“The use of social media is a wrench in their toolbox. It’s not that you use that same wrench for everything you do, but it’s a wrench, it’s a different-sized tool, and you have use that selectively,” he said.
After publication, the proposals will allow 60 days for public comment before the policies are finalized later this year.