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Trump's 'extreme vetting' reportedly may require ideology tests and social media passwords


President Trump has long touted "extreme vetting" as a component of his immigration policies. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday what that may look like. 

Foreigners who want to visit the U.S., even tourists, may be forced to share contacts on their phones, passwords to their social media accounts, financial records and answers to an ideology tests, the Journal reports. The tests could apply to foreigners from all nations, including refugees, citizens of U.S.-allied nations and members of the Visa Waiver Program.

We want to say, 'What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords,' so that we can see what they do on the Internet.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, in Feb.

This review of foreign vetting policies was part of a Trump executive order that included his revised travel ban. While the parts of the order that blocked foreigners from certain countries were blocked by courts, the vetting review was allowed to proceed. 

The real bad guys will get rid of their phones. They'll show up with a clean phone.
Leon Rodriguez

Foreigners may be required to hand over their phones. While that has happened before at certain entry ports, it is not normally requested when applying for a visa. But former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services head Leon Rodriguez said this would only force would-be terrorists to change their tactics. 

The new vetting program may also include an ideological tests, asking applicants whether they believe in "honor killings," how they treat women and whether they value the "sanctity of human life." An anonymous source said the goal was not to find thoughts that clashed with the administration's values, but those who might act on them.

ACLU staff attorney Hugh Handeyside argued this would prevent U.S.  citizens from interacting with "the full spectrum of individuals and people who hold diverse beliefs."

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Critics attacked the measure as hypocritical.

And some thought they would be too easy to bypass.

Former Homeland Security officials under the Obama administration said finding phone contacts and social media histories could be useful, since they could be run against databases of known terrorists. But the lengthy interviews and research could be time-consuming.

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