President Donald Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” is Happening
The Trump Administration adding new security checks on non-US citizen tourists, business travelers, and relatives of American residents requesting visas.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent cables last week to all American embassies ordering the increased scrutiny on visa applicants, this is the 1st indication that the “extreme vetting” President Donald Trump promised is happening.
“Consular officers should not hesitate to refuse any case presenting security concerns,” Sec. Tillerson wrote in the cable dated 15 March.
“All visa decisions are national security decisions.”
The 15 March cable suggests questions should include an applicant’s travel history, addresses, and work history for 15 years, and all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles used in the past 5 years.
Another cable, sent 2 days later, indicated consular officers should not begin asking for the travel and work histories until the State Department received authorization from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The checks do not apply to the 38 countries with which the United States has a visa waiver program, letting applicants get through the process more quickly; those allies include most of Europe, Australia, and Japan.
No Middle Eastern or African states belong to the program.
Though federal courts have temporarily blocked Trump’s travel ban executive order to temporarily prevent people from 6 Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States, President Trump also issued a Memorandum ordering the Secretary of State, the US Attorney General, and the Homeland Security Secretary to implement policies to enhance visa security
Have a terrific weekend.