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Though a US Department of State official has said “most” American visa applicants will be asked to provide the social media identifiers in order to “screen out” terrorists, many critics of Donald Trump’s leadership style on their social media have started hitting him.
Checks across many Nigerians and Africans Facebook and other social media handles in the last few days have shown almost total avoidance of raising or joining in discussions that tend to put either US government or President Donald Trump’s activities on the firing line.
Business Hilights gathered that an unnamed official told Hill.tv that “As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity.”
“This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.”
Additional details showed that the information that may be smoked out from applicant’s handles will be used to vet about 14.7 million people annually.
Apart from social media identifiers, applicants are also to provide a detailed history of their travels.
The proposal to ask applicants for their social media information was first published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2019.
It was part of Donald Trump administration measures of curtailing incidences of terror attacks on US soil.
Such rigorous vetting will apply to those “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”
“Such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said at the time.
Recall that only recently, the US Embassy in Nigeria reviewed its Visa application process ending use of courier services in transmitting needed documents and pushed all procedures online ahead of physical Visa interview appointment.
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