We’ve been warned about social media becoming our worst enemy; we have to be careful with what we post. It’s even more crucial to be careful if your immigration status is not yet permanent.
According to attorney Matthew Kolken, immigration officers, “routinely review social media in making assessments of eligibility for immigration status, or alternatively, if they are planning on charging someone with a violation of immigration law.”
As Latinos, we happen to be very opinionated about basically EVERYTHING, but be careful if you take to social media to rant. Take 24-year-old Emad El-Sayed for example. He posted a picture of Donald Trump on Facebook with the share text: “wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence for killing this guy,” because he would be “doing the world a favor.” Whether this was a joke in poor taste or a way to vent frustration against Trump’s racist and hateful rhetoric, U.S. authorities did not see it this way. The post was taken as legitimate threat against Trump.
El-Sayed lived in the states with a student visa and was studying at the Universal Air Academy in Los Angeles. When the school saw the post, they reported him to the feds and took away his I-20 document which made his student visa useless. El-Sayed was arrested, but eventually released to “voluntarily” return to Cairo, Egypt.
“Immigration officers are absolutely looking at social media,” said immigration attorney Danielle M. Claffey. “We’ve come to realize that, when it comes to immigration issues, the government will definitely use social media to investigate an individual.”
All this is not to say you shouldn’t have a voice…just be thoughtful on social media when immigration status is at play.
Read more about the dangers of social media on immigration status from Vice here.
Don’t forget to share this story with your friends by clicking the button below!