WASHINGTON – The State Department wants allto submit their social media usernames, past email addresses, and phone numbers, greatly expanding the Trump administration's ability to examine prospective immigrants and visitors. In documents released Friday in the Federal Register, the department said that the public should comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 1
Early Social Media E-mail and phone number histories were only obtained from applicants identified for additional review, such as those who traveled in areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people a year are in this category.
The new rules would apply to practically all applicants for immigration and non-immigrant visas. The department estimates that 710,000 immigration visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants would be affected, including those who, according to the documents, want to come to the US.
The documents were published on the website of the Federal Register On Thursday, however, the 60-day public comment period only begins with the publication of the Friday issue.
If the requirements are approved by the Office of Management and Budget, applications for all types of visa would list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide all the account names they have created over the last five years , It would also allow the applicant to publish information about social media accounts on platforms that are not listed in the application.
In addition to their history in social media, visa applicants are being asked about five years of previously used telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, international travel and deportation status, and the involvement of family members in terrorist activities.
Only applicants for certain types of diplomatic and official visa can be exempted from the requirements, the documents say.