Throughout the hearing – titled “Crisis of Confidence: Preventing Terrorist Infiltration through U.S. Refugee And Visa Programs” – government officials in charge of visa controls and national security elaborated on the use of social media as an added screening tool for refugees and K1 fiancé visa applicants. This measure, in its initial pilot stage, should be expanded to all 10,000 Syrian refugees admitted this year, as well as Iraqi refugees and eventually all immigrants. For now, officers are conducting manual social media vetting, but experts are looking for technological solutions for the longer term.
Based on the following excerpts from the witness statements, here’s the deal. The U.S. government is going to hire more people, spend more money, deploy more resources to vet more and more immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees (unaccompanied minors from Central America have just been added to the list of people we “need” to bring in). And this, despite the fact that the system is already backlogged, staff is overwhelmed, and the budget is tight. As usual, it is the American citizen and the legal immigrant who will pick up the tab in order to keep up with this administration’s overseas humanitarian enthusiasms.
Regarding social media, here’s Leon Rodriguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):