Why American visa applicants will submit social media handles
A Department of State official has said “most” American visa applicants will be asked to provide the social media identifiers in order to “screen out” terrorists.
“As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity,” the unnamed official told Hill.tv.
“This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.”
The information will be used to vet about 14.7 million people annually.
Apart from social media identifiers, applicants are also to provide a detailed history of their travels.
The proposal to ask applicants for their social media information was first published in the Federal Register on March 29.
It was part of Donald Trump administration measures of curtailing incidences of terror attacks on US soil.
Such rigorous vetting will apply to those “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”
“Such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said at the time.
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