MSNBC Exclusive: Homeland Security passed on plan to vet visa applicants’ social media
– MSNBC – Dec 17
“Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security considered a specific policy to strengthen security screenings for foreign visa applicants’ social media accounts, but the proposal was ultimately not adopted, according to an internal department memo obtained by MSNBC.
While the U.S. visa screening process does not include formal vetting of social media accounts, the memo proposed the Obama administration “authorize” customs officials to “access social networking sites” to vet applicants. Such vetting could help catch applicants bent on fraud, crime or “national security” risks, the memo stated.
Story here by Ari Melber and Safia Samee Ali @ MSNBC
Discovered: Rubio Pushed To Give Non-Citizen Aliens Access To Fiancé Visas
– Breitbart – Dec 18
“Observers will now have time to do what lawmakers couldn’t: Read the omnibus funding bill which Congress waved through.
For one thing, it fully-funded the President’s refugee resettlement operation. The inclusion of this provision is a policy win for Sen. Marco Rubio, who told Sean Hannity last month that he’d “hate to use” Congress’ power of the purse to block Obama’s refugee resettlement program.
And now another provision has come to light in the Gang of Eight bill that could help to further define the policy contours of a Rubio administration.
Within the sprawling 1,200 page legislation, Rubio’s bill contained a provision—Section 2310 “Fiancée and Fiance Child Status Protection”— which would have dramatically expanded the controversial K-1 visa by allowing non-citizens living in the country to bring in not only their foreign fiancés, but also the children of their foreign fiancés.
The “Fiancé” visa has come under national scrutiny in recent weeks following reports that Tashfeen Malik, the Pakistani-born wife of Syed Farook, had entered the country on a K-1 visa. Together Farook and his Jihadi bride carried out the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Farook’s presence in the United States— like his wife’s—was entirely the result of our nation’s federal policy of visa issuances: Farook’s parents were Paksitani immigrants.”
Read more @ Breitbart
Foreign Travelers and National Security
– In California some of us have questioned immigration and its relation to safety and security for some time. The recent radical Islamic terror in San Bernardino, now highlights the critical need for a top to bottom re-evaluation of our approach to fighting terrorism here at home, beginning with border security and the visa processes are completely secure.
The United States is not prepared or ready for an influx of people who mean to do us harm, and this Administration has clearly let the nation’s guard down in a serious way as the following articles show.
If you wish to see the whole House Oversight & Government Reform Committee here @ C-SPAN Congressional Video – Foreign Travelers and National Security
Today the Washington Examiner, which is not one of my favorite DC papers, none of them are, but today they hit on all cylinders:
Gowdy: Explanation of visa failure ‘doesn’t make me feel any better’
– Washington Examiner
“I just listened to Ben Rhodes give a series of words like ‘extensive,’ ‘thorough,’ ‘careful,'” Gowdy said, referring to a top White House security adviser. “And I just sat here and thought, ‘Well, if all of that was true, how did we miss the lady in San Bernardino?'”
Gowdy argued that the administration needs to do a better job pushing back for information when it receives visa applications, and said it can’t pretend foreign nationals have a right to enter the country.
“There is no legal right to emigrate to the United States,” Gowdy said. “It’s a privilege that we confer on people.”
Read the brief story by Sarah Westwood here: Washington Times
Report: DHS rejected social media screening policy as early as 2011
– Washington Times
“The 2011 memo, parts of which are redacted, suggested that the Obama administration “authorize” customs officials to “access social networking sites” in order to vet applicants. The memo reportedly went through a year of revisions among the agency’s lawyers and staff, and was close to becoming policy before it was blocked by senior officials.
“I thought it was a done deal,” said one senior official, speaking to MSNBC on the condition of anonymity. “It’s unusual [for a policy] to go through the circulation process and revisions,” he said, and “not happen.”
As a result, personnel were limited to “agency-authorized hardware and other computing resources when accessing social networking sites for official government business.” Because social networking sites are blocked on the agency’s network, the policy effectively precluded employees from accessing applicants’ social media accounts.
Employees were also barred from going above and beyond in efforts to screen applicants: “Personnel may not use their personal computers, cellular telephones or other mobile devices” for vetting applicants, the policy states.
It was reported on Monday that some at DHS had pushed for the policy to change, but the memo is another datapoint indicating just how long the issue has been in contention at the agency.”
Read the whole article by Sarah Westbrook here: Washington Examiner
Finally, the best for last:
DHS can’t say how many people leave U.S. each year
– Washington Times
Read the whole article by Sarah Westbrook here @ Washington Examiner
If you wish to see the whole House Oversight & Government Reform Committee here @ C-SPAN Congressional Video
REP. LIEU CALLS ON DHS TO REVERSE POLICY OF NOT REVIEWING SOCIAL MEDIA OF FOREIGNERS
“As a Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I find it outrageous that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rejected a secret policy to review social media of foreigners seeking entry to the US through the visa program. Based on an USCIS memo recently released by MSNBCand reporting by multiple media organizations, I am deeply troubled that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriguez apparently misled the Committee today during his testimony when he repeatedly denied any such secret policy.
I am proud to be an American because being a citizen of the greatest country in the world comes with it many benefits, including the critical fact that the US Constitution applies to US citizens. But the US Constitution does not apply to a foreign national seeking entry to the US.
Yet DHS apparently believes foreign nationals seeking entry to the United States have more rights than US citizens when it comes to social media. In America, if a US citizen applies for a job in the private or public sector, their social media postings can certainly be reviewed. The federal government also apparently reviews social media as a factor in determining whether persons, including US citizens, should be placed on the Terrorist Watch List. ”