It is difficult to express my astonishment on reading the news of a “secret” Department of Homeland Security policy prohibiting scrutiny of visa applicants’ social media presence. My colleagues’ Facebook walls around the country are lit up with statements of disbelief. Too many of us have had our clients questioned about social media posts to buy into the sincerity of this “policy." Some years back, an internal government memorandum even provided guidance to officers on how to take advantage of social media users’ “narcissistic tendencies.”
Yes, the memorandum is outdated. But who really needed it anyhow? Lawyers regularly screen potential clients through web searches. Trial attorneys, no matter what their areas of specialty, are familiar with strategies for tearing down witnesses based on Internet footprints. Immigration officers are no different from the rest of us. They know how to conduct a Google search.
Are officers flouting this secret policy, or is it so very secret that it has not been communicated down the ranks? Perhaps it is like the military’s old "don't tell, don't ask" rule? I.e., search the web but hide it from the person in the neighboring cubicle? This unadhered-to-policy is truly a mystery.
To read the rest: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-murraytjan/news-flash-the-department_b_8812468.html