06:55 GMT +318 October 2018
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    'Land of Free' Under Fire as US to Demand Visa Applicants' Social Media History

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    A US State Department proposal to demand social media accounts from nearly all visa applicants, which would affect nearly 15 million travelers every year, cut to the heart of users on one of the biggest social media platforms.

    The US government has revealed a plan to toughen the rules for newcomers and demand that most visa applicants submit their social media accounts, as well as old telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

    Such requirements have previously only applied to those who travelled to territories controlled by terrorists – the number of which does not exceed 65 thousand people. Whereas the new provision could hit nearly 15 million applicants for immigration and non-immigration visas each year, including those traveling to the US to study, do business or just visit tourist destinations.
    The new initiative will be discussed publicly for 60 days before a final decision is made.

    READ MORE: Trump Restricts Visas from 8 Countries, Including North Korea

    However, Twitter has already wallowed in heated debates over the matter so dear to the heart of social media users. Some point out that the data is hard to attain.

    ​Others see something unhealthy about the desire and voice fears over rights abuses…

    ​while others joke about trolling and one of the US’ most dedicated social media users …

    ​or predict the potential impact on tourism.

    ​Supporters, however, claim that the measure makes sense from a security perspective.

    ​While on the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump made combating illegal immigration one of the primary pillars of his program, drawing strong criticism for some of his statements on the matter. Soon after he assumed office, on January 25, 2017, Trump issued an executive order blocking nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. On March 6, a revision of the travel ban was issued.

    He has continued to pursue a harder line on immigration since; for instance, the border wall project on the US-Mexican border is still on the agenda, despite criticism at home and strong opposition in Mexico.

    Tags:
    social network, border wall, tourism, restrictions, visas, migration, Donald Trump, Mexico, United States
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