Rabat - US authorities are set to investigate social media accounts of individuals travelling to the U.S. from the seven banned countries.
Rabat – US authorities are set to investigate social media accounts of individuals travelling to the U.S. from the seven banned countries.
John Kelly, the new US Secretary of Homeland Security, has declared that US authorities will now investigate the social media accounts and phone records of citizens traveling to the United States from any of the seven banned Muslim-majority countries.
The executive order signed by US president Donal Trump last Friday barring citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US has already led to mass protests across the world as well as lawsuits against the president.
Secretary Kelly had defended Trump’s action in a press conference,stating that “there are many countries, seven that we are dealing with right now, that in our view and my view don’t have the kind of law enforcement, records-keeping, that kind of thing, that can convince us that one of their citizens is indeed who that citizen says they are.”
As of the Monday following the ban 721 people had been denied boarding flights to the US due to their nationality and visa status.
Following the ban, Trump tweeted: “If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the “bad” would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”
Many US immigration gateways and airline companies were taken by surprise by the sudden action and had to detain passengers from travelling to the US.
However, individuals with dual nationalities were allowed to enter depending on whether another acceptable passport was presented at the time of boarding and at the immigration gate.
According to Al Jazeera’ reporter Kimberly Halkett: “The White House maintains that these are extreme vetting procedures, not a Muslim ‘ban’, not a travel ‘ban’.”
A order explicitly barring Muslims from entering the country would violate the US constitution.
However, Kelly suggested that it is possible that there will be a longer or permanent ban if a stronger and reliable vetting procedure is not established during the reviewing period.
“Some of those countries that are on the list may not be taken off the list anytime soon.” said Kelly. “There are countries that are in various states of collapse, for example.”
The Secretary also denied that the ban targets Muslims, arguing that “the vast majority of the 1.7 billion Muslims that live on this planet, all other things being equal, have access to the United States.”The travel ban and action to investigate the social media accounts of citizens continues to receive criticism worldwide.