Posted by Guest on March 01, 2018 in Blog
By Mollie Todd
The Arab American Institute has signed on to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, in conjunction with Muslim Advocates and dozens of affiliated organizations, to obtain records pertaining to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) so-called “Extreme Vetting Initiative.” Currently ICE searches for information on visa applicants online, including on social media. Likely the plans for this program were created following President Trump’s January 2017 executive order that called for travelers to the U.S. to be deemed, “a positively contributing member of society” and capable of making, “contributions to the national interest.” Under the Initiative ICE will monitor much of the internet, to flag people for deportation or visa denial because of the information found online. The FOIA request sponsored by Muslim Advocates seeks to access records related to this vetting program and collection of social media information of visa-holders and applicants. AAI has signed on to this request in an effort to gain greater transparency on ICE’s practices.
Mollie Todd is a 2018 spring intern at the Arab American Institute.