On September 18, 2017, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed measures to collect vast amounts of data regarding social media posted by immigrants. In the past, United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), a branch of DHS, has routinely collected information publicly available on the internet in regards to immigration benefits applications and the adjudication of petitions.
The new DHS proposal would allow additional categories of data, such as social media identities and aliases and their respective posts, to be retained by USCIS. Social media posts by green card holders (permanent residents) and naturalized U.S. citizens would be kept as well. Unfortunately, posts made in jest, sarcastic in tone, or even innocent expressions of opinion could be misinterpreted and trigger a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a personal interview with an officer from USCIS. This latest DHS proposal is slated to go into effect on October 18, 2017.