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Social Media Monitoring And The Trump Administration’s Latest Xenophobic Move

DHS-monitoring-social-mediaBy Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Oct. 27, 2017: By the time you read this, Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, (DHS)’s minions, will likely have snooped on my social media page, read the article and put me on a list of immigrants to watch.

This, regardless of the fact that I am a naturalized citizen of the United States of America!

Despite my supposed protection under the constitution of these United States, Donald Trump and the xenophobes pushing his racist, anti-immigrant agenda, are at it again – scapegoating immigrants and pushing a plan that will now include monitoring all social media accounts of immigrants – whether new, legal or naturalized U.S. citizens.

Yes you read it right – your social media page could be monitored by U.S. immigration agents – since October 18, 2017, despite your constitutional right to free speech – simply because you are an IMMIGRANT. Not an undocumented immigrant; an immigrant turned U.S. citizen.

Anti-immigrant is too modest a term to describe this brazen move. It is bigoted, xenophobic and illegal.

But who cares? Not Trump and his administration for sure and certainly not the host of Republican lawmakers who are quick to speak out about the constitutional right to bear arms even after a mad man has committed domestic terrorism and slaughtered nearly 60 innocent American civilians but are silent on immigrants and their rights

Ater all, many in the Republican Party support Trump’s agenda to rid the country of the majority of black and brown immigrants who threaten the Party’s future in this country.

Obviously rounding up and deporting thousands since January 2017 is not enough; getting rid of young immigrants under DACA is not enough; ending Temporary Protected Status for many immigrants, including Sudanese and likely Haitians, is not enough; limiting visa is not enough and pushing to end the Green Card Lottery and family sponsorship is not enough!

The latest tool the Trump administration has turned to is The Donald’s favorite – social media.

The DHS’  new rule published in the Federal Register and taking effect on Oct. 18th, is a modification of the current DHS system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection—001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records.”

This includes the addition of a new category to the official records of immigrant data it collects to include “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results.”

Of course, the administration claims in the filing that the move “…is certainly not out of the blue (since) incorporating social media information into immigrant records in one way or another has been a topic of conversation for a while.”

In fact, it points out a little known fact – that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ordered social media checks on all visa applicants who had visited ISIS-controlled regions while the Trump administration introduced an expanded visa applicant questionnaire in June that asks for all social media handles used in the last five years.

Unfortunately, the ACLU has its hands full trying to keep track of this administration’s daily constitutional missteps and blatant lies and the feedback submitted by many immigrants has fallen on deaf ears.

So what can you do? We as immigrants must become more mindful of the environment we are living in and watch what we post on social media. This should be a daily mantra anyway but it is now more critical that Big D and his brothers are watching!

You can read more on this rule change here or at www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/18/2017-19365/privacy-act-of-1974-system-of-records

felicia-j-persaud-hard-beat-altThe writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands: NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.