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The Department Of Homeland Security Will Be Reviewing Social Media Accounts Of Immigrants, Green Card Holders And Naturalized Citizens

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Starting Oct. 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be reviewing the social media accounts of immigrants entering the U.S., green card holders and naturalized citizens, reports The New York Times.

The move, ordered by the Trump Administration, will begin on the same day as the president’s new revised travel ban.

The executive order is called the “Modified Privacy Act System of Records.” Here’s the type of information that the government can access: “[P]ublicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements.”

That includes “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results.” So, even if you’re tweeting behind @xoxloloasj0013 with a picture of an egg as your profile, they can still find you.

Wondering what “commercial data suppliers” means? That includes companies such as Equifax and “people search” vendors like Intelius and Axicom, Engadget reports. So, basically, everything.

It’s not completely new. The government has been gathering social media information from immigrants since 2012.

NPR notes that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services already has files on incoming immigrants and people who are applying for travel visas and citizenship, including permanent residents and green card holders. Under the new policy, all the information can now be shared within government agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol and the Transportation Security Administration.

There are several problematic issues with this new policy. Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, says the main thing the government wants to do is screen the social media accounts of non-citizens.

This kind of social media surveillance will dampen freedom of expression online, because people self-censor and avoid controversy when they know the government is watching,” Handeyside writes. “And such surveillance inevitably sweeps up the social media content of family members, friends and associates, including U.S. citizens.”

So even if you’re a U.S. citizen and chatting on Twitter with your Mexican cousin who happens to be a DREAMer or DACA recipient, your social media pages may be on their radar too.


Angy Rivera, Co-Director of the NYS Youth Leadership Council, tweeted some very useful information about what the government looks for in suspicious online behavior and how to protect yourself.

READ: Certain Latinos Should Not Overshare On Social Media For Legal Reasons

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President Trump's One-Day Visit To Puerto Rico Was Packed With Tone Deaf Moves

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President Trump’s One-Day Visit To Puerto Rico Was Packed With Tone Deaf Moves

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After being roundly criticized for his administration’s delayed response in helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, President Trump finally arrived on the island to survey the damage and meet with Puerto Rican officials. According to The Washington Post, Trump said his administration was doing a “great job” with relief efforts in Puerto Rico: “And in Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus. And I’ll tell you what, I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico, and it’s actually a much tougher situation. But now the roads are cleared, communications is starting to come back. We need their truck drivers to start driving trucks.”

Just days earlier, Trump shot back at Mayor Yulín Cruz, who said the Trump administration wasn’t doing enough to help Puerto Rico. “Such poor leadership by the Mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

Although the president painted a picture of rapid recovery, millions of people are still without running water. USA Today reported that getting food, water, or gas can take some Puerto Ricans several hours or even a whole day.

During his roundtable for the press, Trump zeroed in on the death toll and appeared to imply that Hurricane Katrina was a “real catastrophe” because more people died.

Trump: “Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”

After turning to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló to ask “What is your death count as of this moment, 17?” Trump added, “16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands.”

Although the death toll is currently at 16 people, the number is expected to rise. According to Vox, it has remained at 16 because deaths aren’t being officially recorded. Journalist Omaya Sosa Pascual told Vox that the process for declaring deaths is currently broken: “Some of the people who work in the government lost their homes themselves and aren’t at work. So they can’t do death certificates. The dead can’t be documented because of all the logistics and legal aspects of declaring someone dead.”

Trump also made a crack about the amount of money that would be spent on disaster relief.

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack.”

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer took to Twitter and asked Trump to stop blaming Puerto Rico for the situation it finds itself in.

And Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) called out Trump for his repeated trips to Mar-A-Lago.

Later, Trump handed out supplies to Puerto Ricans. Here he is tossing paper towels like he’s shooting basketballs.

Also, after speaking to a hurricane victim, Trump ended the conversation by saying, “Have a good time.”

Trump’s focus on the death toll, his budget remarks, and the praise he’s given his administration for doing an “A+ job” all point to someone who is both tone deaf and out of touch with the severity of Puerto Rico’s situation. Trump is only in Puerto Rico for one day. On Wednesday, he heads to Las Vegas, where 59 people died on Sunday in the largest mass shooting in modern American history.

Click here for a list of charities and crowdfunding campaigns that are helping people in Puerto Rico.

Two Weeks After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots Of Help

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