NEW YORK— Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat can be used to communicate with friends and family from all over the world, but as of October, these social platforms took on new meanings.
These new meanings stem from a President Donald Trump-era executive order – signed nearly seven months ago – which establishes social media as a vetting tool to determine whether United States entry applicants will be allowed into the country.
“The United States government is going to compile all your social media handles, photos,
likes, who your friends are, who you are associating with; and they will use that as part of a determination whether or not to allow you into the United States of America,” immigration attorney and President of the Laws Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C. Brad Bernstein said in an interview on Al Arabiya.
Despite the governmental intention of preventing application fraud and ensuring security, Bernstein surfaced several issues regarding the order.
He noted that aside from making people feel insecure and anxious about their online presence; if one is hacked, and the nefarious information obtained by the government is wrong, the applicant could be denied entry into the U.S.
Additionally, if this order is applied towards naturalized citizens at the airport; Bernstein said the order’s application could be found illegal.
“The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects those from unlawful search and seizures and rights to privacy,” he said. “If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, the government can’t treat you any differently than an American born citizen.”
To hear more of Brad Bernstein on the topic, watch the full interview below.