This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.
Every day I feel more and more like we are living in an alternate universe. I have made no secret about this, and it’s mostly due to the things that come out of or from Donald Trump. Today is no different in that respect. But it is different in many ways. When Trump insults Kim Jong Un, it really doesn’t bother me. It demonstrates his character, but it doesn’t make me feel anything, really. But when Trump starts attacking innocent people, I get my back up. Someone from Trump’s camp made an announcement regarding immigrants and the US Department of Homeland Security. Specifically, that they will be expanding the kinds of information it can collect from immigrants. Which will now include social media information and search results.
The part that outrages me is that this policy covers immigrants who have obtained a green card and even naturalized citizens. Which means, you could have lived in the United States (legally, I might add) for many, many years and you’re still going to be on this hit list of Trumps. And for what purpose? Will this also include the First Lady, I wonder? Or maybe Trumps first wife, Ivana? I think we all know the answer to that one.
But let’s talk about the policy itself. It will not only allow Homeland Security to collect information about an immigrant’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, but it also mentions “all search results”. So even your Google search results? The first big question I have is what is this going to do? Honestly, what purpose does this fulfill? Like I said, some of these people have been living in the country for many, many years. Perhaps it’s going to show Trump how disliked he is?
The policy specifically states:
(5) expand the categories of records to include the following: country of nationality; country of residence; the USCIS Online Account Number; social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results; and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals proceedings information.
(11) update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers, and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements;
What is interesting, and kind of scary is the idea that this is going to impact people who interact with U.S. immigrants, since it’s going to make all of their conversations on social media subject to surveillance. My sister is a US green card holder, which means that any communicating I do with her from here on out will be subject to this new rule.
To me, this feels like a waste of money and resources. One of the things the Trump Administration has been trying to do is reduce the amount of government regulation. This certainly isn’t reducing anything. This is going to require a lot of man-power to execute. How will they be able to connect people to their social media accounts? With things like Twitter and Instagram, people don’t always use their actual names. So I’m confused as to how they will make those links. Also, how are they actually going to be monitoring this information? Can they arbitrarily do this, or are there other laws in place that would prevent it?
I have a ton of questions about this “policy” as it doesn’t feel like this has been thought out properly. This is just another one of Donald Trumps attempts to “Make American Great Again”. But like I’ve said before, the only way he’s doing that is through the promotion of hate and ignorance. Just because you weren’t born in the United States doesn’t make you any less American. What it does make you, in the eyes of Trump, is the enemy. I don’t know why he is so fixated on targeting immigrants, but it doesn’t look like its going to stop any time soon.