Thanks to the new regulations set by the US State Dept, anyone applying for a US visa will have to submit their social media info.
Applicants will have to submit usernames and half-a-decade worth of email addresses and phone numbers.
Approximately 14.7 million people every year will be impacted according to authorities. Only exemptions to these regulations will be certain diplomatic and official visa applicants.
The State department allegedly said,
We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect US citizens while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.
Before this, applicants that required additional screening (those who had visited areas of the world controlled by terrorist organizations) were required to submit this information. Now, all applicants will have to provide their usernames on social media sites and other information on their accounts on any sites not listed.
An official, while speaking to the media, said there would be “serious immigration consequences” to an applicant lying about their social media usage. The new regulations were proposed by the Trump administration in March 2018.
The proposal was criticized by the civil rights group, the American Civil Liberties Union, which said that there was “no evidence that such social media monitoring is effective or fair”, and said it would force people to self-censor themselves online.
Immigration was a key pillar of US President Donald Trump’s election campaign in 2016 and he had called for “extreme vetting” of immigrants both before and during his time in office.
Last week, he promised to levy slowly rising tariffs on Mexico unless the country curtailed illicit immigration at the US southern border.