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Kirk asks Obama to use social media for visa application background checks




WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk wants the Department of Homeland Security officals to screen U.S. visa applicants' social media during background checks. Kirk and Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote a letter of appeal to the president this week, asking for immediate policy change.  

"We urge you to immediately adopt regulations to allow screening officials to check the social media postings of applicants," the letter said. "Knowledge is power, and denying your employees the ability to gain knowledge through basic research strips them of the full potential of their power to screen these applicants. If you are still clinging to an outdated policy prohibiting such review, then we would ask you to brief Congress on why your agency refuses to consider communications like the kind Tashfeen Malik made before she killed 14 people and injured 22 others."

Of course, Tashfeen Malik is one of the two jihadists that attacked Christmas party attenders in San Bernardino earlier this month. 

"As the nation continues to mourn in the aftermath of the horrific events that occurred in San Bernardino, California, we urge you to immediately direct screening officials to include social media screening in all background checks," Kirk's letter goes on to say.

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan on a spousal visa, had posted social media messages professing her radicalization, information which could have prevented the deaths of 14 Americans. Even more troubling, recent reports allege that screening officials, by policy, generally do not check social media postings of applicants."

Kirk backs legislation introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would require DHS to search social media and publicly available information as part of any screening of foreign travelers visiting the United States or immigrants. 

Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) have also backed that legislation.


Illinois Review
Illinois Review
Founded in 2005, Illinois Review is the leading perspective and source of conservative news, opinion and information in Illinois. Follow Illinois Review on X at @IllinoisReview.


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