New Trump 'Extreme Vetting' Directive Aimed At Visitors With Visas

Share

That would constitute a significant expansion of vetting for consular officers, who screen social media only rarely - for instance, in the case of Syrian refugee applicants - due to concerns that it would create an unnecessary swell in backlogs, according to officials consulted by Reuters.

The State Department has ordered American embassies and consulates around the world to draw up criteria for certain "population sets" that should get extra scrutiny before getting U.S.travel visas. Screenings would likely vary from country to country, according to sources familiar with the memos, as the directive does not explicitly provide for coordination between the embassies.

However, Reuters states that "advocates and immigration lawyers said the guidance could lead to visa applicants being profiled on the basis of nationality or religion rather than because they pose an actual threat to the United States".

Buchanan's bill would direct the Department of Homeland Security to review all public records, including Facebook and other forms of social media, before admitting foreign travellers.

"There's so much social media out there", said Anne Richard, a former Obama-era assistant secretary of State, told Reuters.

The new rules don't apply to citizens of 38 countries, including most of Europe and allies like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, as they can be admitted quickly into the United States under the visa waiver program.

The March 15 cable, sent before federal courts blocked the revised ban, increases scrutiny on people from the six countries in the executive order: Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Somalia and Libya. That ban is now on hold over legal challenges.

After meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week at the White House, Trump said Germany owes "vast sums of money to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United States", voicing a charge he has repeatedly made that allies do not pay their fair share.

Another improvement would be to have more direct interviewing between United States officials and the applicant in the applicant's language, [David Inserra, a homeland security expert also at Heritage] says. The diplomatic cables reportedly are calling on USA diplomatic missions to decide which populations of people will be subjected to the 'increased scrutiny.' The officials, meanwhile, revealed the mandatory social media check. Those people would be questioned about their past 15 years of travel and work, as well as whether they have visited territory controlled by the Islamic State.

Both Republicans and Democrats had called for social media screening. "Social media checks, as well as demands for social media passwords at US borders, have significant implications for privacy and freedom of expression".

Mr. Tillerson's cable also restricts the number of interviews one visa officer can conduct every day.

Tillerson will appear at the March 31 event in Brussels after the military alliance made scheduling changes to accommodate him, a State Department official told CNN Friday.

Chirag Patel, an immigration lawyer in Maryland, said these new instructions are bound to make entry into the United States more hard, adding, it, entry, was "Already pretty bad".

Share