Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ordered US embassies around the world to screen social media of any visa applicant to the USA who has ever spent time in territory controlled by the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
Four memos were sent to American embassies in the course of past two weeks.
President Trump promised on the campaign trail to establish "extreme vetting", on people entering the USA, and this measure appears to be a step towards that pledge.
Social media is rarely screened by US consular officials when considering visas, and could lengthen the processing time in Middle Eastern embassies. The memos direct consular officials to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny" and to put applicants from these populations through more rigorous questioning. However, the cables do illustrate a renewed focus on the vetting of visa applicants by the DOS, including the potential review of visa applicants' social media, Maryland-based Murthy law firm, which processes visa and immigration issues, said in a cautious advisory.
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Priti Patel, the UK's worldwide development secretary, said: "What this shows is that we are a government that is very focused". The developments come as an independent think tank warned today that up to 15 new bills could be needed to deliver Brexit.
The heightened security includes extensive background checks on applicants including mandatory social media checks and extensive questioning.
These diplomatic cables sent last week offer an insight into how the administration hopes to enact the travel ban if given a chance.
In cables dated March 10 and March 15, Tillerson issued detailed instructions to consular officials for implementing Trump's travel order, which was due to take effect on March 16.
"There's so much social media out there", said Anne Richard, a former USA assistant secretary of state in the Obama administration. After a court blocked the effort, a second executive order removed Iraq from the travel ban.
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The Citizens now sit in third place and could move level on points with Tottenham, should they secure all three points. A win for Liverpool would see them leapfrog Pep Guardiola's side into third place in the Premier League standings.
The cable anticipates the new requirements may cause backlogs in visa processing.
Per the same memo, visa applicants that fall within one of these identified population groups should be considered for higher-level security screening. That order temporarily barred citizens from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the USA - adopting a slightly narrower scope than his first travel ban, which had been put on hold in federal court.
Subsequently, it will be verified if the visa applicant has ever been in territory controlled by the Islamic State.
"It's highly unlikely they could obtain information that demonstrates whether someone is a national security threat in such a brief interview process", he said.
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That is exactly what Judge Gorsuch has done in several thousand cases he has heard on the 10th Circuit . Interpreting and applying the law should not be mistaken for picking preferred outcomes.
He has also ordered a "mandatory social media check" for all applicants who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State, in what two former USA officials said would be a broad, labor-intensive expansion of such screening.