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U.S. Tourists Will Be Required To Turn Over Their Social Media History

The State Department will unveil new rules on Friday requiring most visitors or immigrants to the United States to turn over their recent social media histories, in accordance with one of President Trump’s key national security enhancements contained in his “extreme vetting” executive order.

In addition, travelers would be required to provide previous phone numbers, email addresses and a history of international travel from the preceding five years – as well as disclose any immigration problems they’ve had anywhere in the world, or any potential family ties to terrorism, according to the Washington Times.

Moreover, people from countries where female genital mutilation is common practice would be directed to a website to ensure that they know the practice is illegal in the United States.

The Friday publication will begin a “comment period” before the government finalizes the policies.

“This upgrade to visa vetting is long overdue, and it’s appropriate to apply it to everyone seeking entry, because terrorism is a worldwide problem. The aim is to try to weed out people with radical or dangerous views,” said Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies – who called the effort to discourage female genital mutilation “innovative.”

“The message needs to be sent that ‘we don’t do that here,’ ” she said.

Vaughan also says the State Department should also request information on whether female travelers intend to enter the United States in order to give birth – a practice known as “birth tourism” in which women visit the U.S. so that their child born on American soil is a U.S. citizen.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has entertained plans to track the social media accounts of immigrants entering the country, however the State Department’s Friday proposal would apply to tourists and others entering the country on temporary visas. In all, some 14 million people would be affected by the request for information, according to the department.

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