Right Hooks

DHS Won't Review Social Media Posts of Visa Entrants

So a terrorist was granted a visa.

Nate Jackson · Dec. 14, 2015

The Obama State Department once had a “brilliant” plan — fight the Islamic State in part by waging a propaganda war on social media. In other words, bureaucrats would try to deter potential ISIL recruits with Twitter and Facebook posts. After a while, however, State finally admitted that hashtag diplomacy wasn’t really working all that well. But you know what else isn’t working? U.S. policy of not considering the social media posts of foreigners trying to enter the U.S. through the visa program. ABC News reports, “Fearing a civil liberties backlash and ‘bad public relations’ for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end a secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, a former senior department official said.” Why does that matter? Well, if officials had reviewed the social media posts of Tashfeen Malik, she might not have been granted a visa in May 2014 — a full 18 months before she and her husband killed 14 in San Bernardino. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gets it: “Had they checked out Tashfeen Malik, maybe those people in San Bernardino would be alive.” Remember, no one has a right to come to the U.S., and the fact that Islam is as much a political system as a religion means these reviews are far more important than a little uncomfortable PR for the Obama administration.

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