President Trump’s State Department will soon mandate that all foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on a visa provide their social media accounts to screen out national security threats.
In the Trump administration’s latest immigration directive, the State Department will begin mandating that foreign nationals seeking any visa to the U.S. — including all nonimmigrant, employment, student, tourist, and business visas — disclose their social media accounts if they are on social media.
Should a visa applicant claim that they do not have social media accounts when in fact they do, a State Department official said they would become eligible for a permanent visa ban to the U.S.
The agency’s initiative to increase screening measures of the more than 1.2 million legal immigrants that are admitted to the country every year is part of an executive order signed by the president in 2017, with a senior White House official calling the new rule a “critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals.”
“As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity,” the senior official told Breitbart News. “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 lack of mandatory social media disclosure for foreign nationals seeking visas to the U.S. first came to the forefront following the December 2015 Islamic terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, when two terrorists murdered 14 people.
One of the terrorists, Tashfeen Malik, was able to enter the U.S. as a legal immigrant through the K-1 visa after State Department officials failed in three background checks to catch the Pakistani national’s social media posts in which she gushed over jihad.
Already, the Trump administration’s travel ban from eight countries that sponsor terrorism has been effective in ending nearly all legal immigration to the U.S. from those regions.
Every year, more than 1.2 million legal immigrants are admitted to the U.S., with the current foreign-born population booming to an unprecedented high of roughly 44.5 million residents. As Breitbart News exposed, since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there have been at least 580 individuals convicted of terrorism, with 380 of those individuals being foreign-born.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.