The United States wants to see your social networks before granting you a visa

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A new policy of the Department of State will require applicants to present their social media accounts for the last 5 years

The United States wants to see your social networks before granting you a visa

As part of the strategy of the administration of President Donald Trump to strengthen the processes of immigration surveillance, the United States will begin to require a large part of the visa applicants to provide information about all the social network accounts that have belonged to them.

Leer en español: Estados Unidos quiere ver tus redes sociales antes de otorgarte una visa

In particular, immigration offices will require many of their applicants the names under which they have used the main social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as their telephone numbers and email addresses they have used throughout the five years that precede the application.

According to the BBC, when this measure was proposed last year, it was estimated that it would affect some 14.7 million people annually. Applicants for official and diplomatic visas will be exempt from providing this information, but those who apply for student or work visas will have to fill it out.

"We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our security controls to protect US citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States," the State Department told the Associated Press.

In the past, immigration authorities in the United States only required this information from those who had visited territories controlled by terrorist groups in the past, which according to the AP added about 65,000 visitors per year.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-profit organization in the fight to protect civil liberties, "there is no evidence that social media monitoring of this type is effective or fair" and denounced that a process like this could cause that people self-censor on the internet.

Read also: Trump proposes a change in immigration policy

A problem for development

According to data from the OECD, the United States is no longer the number one destination for highly trained workers or for entrepreneurs. This should worry the country at a time when competition with China will largely be defined through innovation.

OECD data suggest that trained immigrants are turning more frequently to countries such as Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, or Australia.

According to The Economist, the strict migration controls introduced by the Donald Trump government discourage immigration in general and have a negative impact on the ability to develop innovation in the United States.

"To begin with, the United States must stop underestimating its strengths and building on them instead. Since migrants are vital to innovation, the obstacles of Trump's administration to legal immigration are counterproductive", it said.


LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "
Los Estados Unidos quieren ver tus redes sociales antes de otorgarte una visa "