DHS to monitor social media of immigrants for permanent record


The United States Department of Homeland Security – in line with President Trump’s amorphous policy of “extreme vetting” – has announced plans to monitor the social media use of immigrants. This will include surveillance and recording of the online activities of those crossing the border into the U.S., noncitizens generally, those applying for an immigration status, and even naturalized citizens.

Data collected will be included in an immigrant’s permanent “alien file” (A-file) and will be accessible by courts and law enforcement agencies who check the file. While vast amounts of data will be collected, DHS claims the use of algorithms and other automated filtering tools will aid in sifting through the data to find potential dangers.

Critics, of course, are suspicious that such automated activities will be able to avoid inaccurate results. Aside from obvious concerns about privacy and government overreach, particularly for citizens, immigrant advocates also fear the information will be used to target immigrants with extreme scrutiny and abuse or even circumvent their rights. Soberalski Immigration Law recommends all immigrants, especially those most vulnerable to abuses by law enforcement, remain particularly careful about their social media activities.

For more information, please see: https://www.nilc.org/news/the-torch/11-30-17/