What’s New In Immigration

Grind for June 4th
“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”

– Robin Williams

Take A Selfie

The Headline

New rules require visa applicants to provide social media info

The Grind

Starting this month, most applicants for US visas will be required to provide social media information including usernames, email addresses, and phone numbers.

The information will be incorporated into background checks and cross-checked with government watchlists.

“As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity,” explains a State Department official. “This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on US soil.”

The Details

The new policy, which previously applied only to applicants in need of additional screening, stems from a March 2017 executive order designed to put “extreme vetting” into place. It is expected to affect up to 14.7 million people each year.

Critics say the policy is unfair and will convince would-be immigrants to censor themselves online.

“[There] is no evidence that such social media monitoring is effective or fair,” said the ACLU.

Nowhere To Run

The Headline

Thousands of refugees wait in Juárez, Mexico

The Grind

Ciudad Juárez is a Mexican city located directly south of El Paso, Texas.

These days, the city is effectively a waiting room for refugees seeking legal entry to the United States. As reported in May, more than 15,000 asylum-seekers have either passed through Juárez or are waiting for a chance to apply.

At least 80% of the migrants currently waiting in Juárez are from Cuba.“People want to cross legally,” says Juan Fierro García, director of a migrant shelter in Juárez, but fears that Trump will seal the border have convinced many to attempt illegal crossings.

The Details

Among those waiting to enter the US is Florant, a refugee from Central Africa who refused to share his last name in fear that his family members would be harmed.

Each day, Florant checks to see if his number appears on a daily list issued by the US. When it does, he will have a chance to convince US authorities that a return to his country of origin (Cameroon) would result in persecution based on race, religion, nationality, or political views.

If they do not believe him, Florant will be turned away.“As soon as they get my story, they will believe me and I’ll make it there,” says Florant. “So I have a lot of faith. That’s my power.”

Did you know… Oak trees do not have acorns until they are fifty years old or older.