The Department of Homeland Security Now to Collect Social Media Information on Immigrants
The Department of Homeland Security finalized its plans to collect “social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information and search results” from immigrants, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens. This new rule, published in the Federal Register last week, calls for the inclusion of this social media information in the files of immigrants, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens. This is not the first attempt to include social media information in immigrant’s files. In May 2017, the Trump administration approved a new questionnaire for visa applicants that requests social medial handles for the last five years, so this new rule would essentially follow the questionnaire requirement.
Who is Affected by This New Rule?
The Department of Homeland Security’s new rule would affect millions of immigrants, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens. In addition, the new rule could also affect U.S. citizens who communicate with immigrants on social media. This could mean that conversations that U.S. citizens have with immigrant loved ones on social media, for example, could become the subject of government surveillance. The new rule is set to go into effect on October 18, 2017, which is after the appropriate comment public period.
If you are an immigrant, permanent resident, or naturalized citizen in the United States, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney regarding this new rule. An immigration attorney may be able to help you understand what information you should or may be required to provide to The Department of Homeland Security or other immigration agency.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance