U.S. Government Ants to Screen Immigrants’ Social Media Before Granting Citizenship

Immigrants applying for certain benefits may soon be required to provide links to their social media activity as part of the application process.

The Department of Homeland Security wants to be able to review information posted on social media over the last five years by immigrants who apply for nine types of benefits — including U.S. citizenship through naturalization, asylum and changes on permanent residence through marriage — according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

“U.S. Government departments and agencies involved in screening and vetting, to include DHS, identified the collection of social media user identifications (also known as usernames, identifiers, or ‘handles’) and associated publicly available social media platforms used by the applicant during the past five years, as important for identity verification, immigration and national security vetting,” states the DHS notice published last week.

“For DHS, these data elements will be added to certain immigration benefit request or traveler forms where the information was not already collected,” it adds.

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