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State Department Will Demand Access to Prospective Immigrants’ Social-Media History

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

The State Department will implement new rules requiring that immigrants applying for citizenship grant officials access to five years of their social-media histories before they can enter the country.

The new rules, detailed in a notice submitted by the State Department Thursday, will also require that would-be immigrants disclose any previous phone numbers, email addresses, immigration violations, and family ties to terrorist organizations. They will also require immigrants from countries in which female genital mutilation is commonly practiced to view a web page informing them that the practice is illegal in the U.S.

The notion that officials should scrutinize potential immigrants’ social-media accounts gained popular support after the San Bernardino shooting in 2015. One of the jihadists involved in that attack had posted extremist content on a private social-media page that authorities did not discover before allowing her entry into the U.S.

The State Department’s move comes after numerous promises from President Trump to implement “extreme vetting” measures for prospective immigrants.

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