The U.S. government wants to require all US visa applicants, both immigrant and non-immigrant, to disclose their social media handles to the US government, State Department proposals showed on Friday as part of President Donald Trump’s policy of “extreme vetting.”
In documents that the department will file to the Federal Register, it proposes that nearly every individual applying for a US visa be required to hand over any social media handles used on certain platforms in the past five years as well as submit any telephone numbers and email addresses used during that same time period.
The State Department will publish the proposals in a notice in the Federal Register on Friday seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget. The public has 60 days to comment on the requests.
The proposals support President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge in 2016 to crack down on illegal immigration for security reasons and his call for “extreme vetting” of foreigners entering the United States.
The department said it intends not to routinely ask most diplomatic and official visa applicants for the social media information.
If approved, applicants also will be required to submit five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and their international travel history. They will be asked if they have been deported or removed from any country and whether family members have been involved in terrorist activities, the department said.
Courts have struck down the first two versions of Trump’s travel ban and the current one is narrower in scope than its predecessors. The Supreme Court will consider its legality this spring and a decision is expected in June.