back to article US Homeland Security Dept to collect immigrants' social media handles and more

The United States Department of Homeland Security will soon add “social media handles” and plenty more information to immigration records. The changes, outlined in a Notice published late on Monday afternoon US time, update data it is permissible for the Department to collect under the Privacy Act of 1974. Some of the changes …

  1. corestore

    "The new rules apply to naturalized citizens of the United States and new immigrants"

    I'm a naturalized citizen and best of fucking luck; you'll need it if you try that with me. We don't DO second-class citizens; that last time we tried that was when we put Americans of Japanese ancestry in internment camps. All citizens are equal - natural-born or naturalized - and have an absolute right to enter the USA. Try this and SCOTUS will tie you in a pretzel.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

      Oh yes you do, obvious examples being disbarring people from voting because of a criminal conviction at some point in the past (about 6 million of them) and the whole "natural born citizen" business (McCain, Cruz)[1] which hasn't been entirely settled yet.

      [1] No, not Obama - unlike those two he was born in the USA.

      1. corestore

        Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

        You pick the *one single exception* which is written into the constitution; yes the president must be a natural-born citizen. Otherwise this is slam-dunk illegal. Government can't treat natural-born and naturalized citizens differently.

        The disbarring voting thing applies to felons and doesn't distinguish between natural-born and naturalized so that's a complete red herring.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

          The disbarring voting thing applies to felons and doesn't distinguish between natural-born and naturalized so that's a complete red herring.

          No it isn't because those laws create a specific class of citizens with fewer civil rights. That is a "second class citizenship" within the ordinary meaning of the expression which is something you asserted the USA does not "do". If you meant: "We don't DO second-class citizens based on naturalisation status, we use other criteria to define them" then I misunderstood the intended scope of your comment.

          I agree with your specific point: they're going to run face first into the 14th Amendment with these rules. There has to be some political sub-text (possibly furthering the demonization of the 9th Circuit with Magas?) because it is so obviously unconstitutional only an idiot (but I repeat myself) could expect it to stand.

          1. corestore

            Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

            Talk about pedantic; you entirely ignored the second part of the sentence referring to AJA internment - which made it bloody clear exactly what I was talking about.

            I fail to understand how punishing criminals equates to 'second class citizenship' anyway; all countries do that in some form or another. UK has 'second class citizens' by your definition too - like that chap in the news not so long ago who got an 'order' requiring him to inform the police before he had sex despite the fact that he had never been convicted of anything!

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

              UK has 'second class citizens' by your definition too

              Except that in the UK almost everybody is a second class citizen.

              Unless you went to Eton and are in the Cabinet

            2. Lysenko

              Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

              you entirely ignored the second part of the sentence referring to AJA internment

              I ignored it because in 1942 the USA was still firmly in the Jim Crow era so "second class citizenship" was firmly entrenched official policy. An extension of that in wartime wasn't exactly a radical departure. People were still being lynched with impunity back then, let alone interned.

              While all countries abridge the civil rights of criminals while subject to legal sanction, few others (if any) permanently exclude them from the democratic process thereby fundamentally altering their status as citizens. If you think cannabis or (historically) gay sex should be legal, it is a bit tricky to change the law if holding and acting on those opinions ends up disenfranchising you. The exact same thing (stop the "wrong" people voting) held off the Civil Rights Act for most of the 20th century and I trust you're not arguing that there were no second class citizens in 1950's Alabama.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: We don't DO second-class citizens

                I ignored it because in 1942 the USA was still firmly in the Jim Crow era so "second class citizenship" was firmly entrenched official policy.

                It could well be argued that the US has never left those days - and that the mindset is alive and well in the White House.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "The new rules apply to naturalized citizens of the United States and new immigrants"

      Wait for a more Trump years, and the Supreme Court will start to issue the equivalent of fatwas...

      It was funny to listen to Erdogan crooks explaining it was right to remove Darwin from high school lessons, because, after all, even in Western countries like United States there's a debate about teaching it.... good work Kansastan.

      Trump recent rants about the NFL players behaviour reminded me what happens in some places if you "insult" "sacred books", "prophets" and the like (though I'd like NFL players to take stance against violence on women too, for example).

    3. fajensen
      Pint

      Re: "The new rules apply to naturalized citizens of the United States and new immigrants"

      Yes, "we" DO do second-class citizens. They are, for example, the ones growing up to become stupid by drinking leaded water because a trillion-dollar 1'st economy somehow cannot afford to change some crappy pipes which just happens to be installed where all those 2'nd / 3'rd class people can afford to live. Some squillonaire liberal Hillary-supporter might have to wait two weeks to buy another island if "we" were fiscally irresponsible like that.

      Everything "we" do to some special minority is the test-run for what will be done to everyone, eventually. Therefore I don't see really the logic behind why anyone can seriously expect to be treated any better, or even different, from the Japs by an administration who is at permanent undeclared war with everything and everyone, everywhere once "the fronts" shift and one is stuck in the middle of it!

      I bet the Japanese believed the same thing back then, that they were equal, having all paid their taxes and stayed out of trouble and all as The Man said. Proves that: "Everyone has a plan until *they* get punched in the mouth".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I suppose it's one way of deterring anyone from ever considering wanting to [continue to] live there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is starting to have the ring of the 30s xenophobia during Roosevelt's terms.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        You make it sound like the xenophobia arose because of Roosevelt, where in fact it was FDR and Henry Stimson who pushed for a reduction in isolationism because it was a short-termist policy and ultimately self-defeating. But they couldn't get much past Congress before 1939, and struggled even with Lend-Lease all the way up to Pearl Harbour.

  3. Suricou Raven

    I see the plan.

    1. Impose the strictest possible vetting procedures.

    2. Admire the new five-year backlog.

    3. No more dirty foreigners coming in!

    1. Christoph

      Re: I see the plan.

      4. No more migrant workers to do the crop picking etc.

      5. No more highly educated immigrants to do the tech jobs that there's not enough qualified US citizens for.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: I see the plan.

        @ Christoph

        Don't you come around here with your common sense! Next you'll be pointing out that most of the population of the US are descended from either immigrants, or people taken over there as slaves (does that count as being a immigrant?).

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    And if you don't do "social media" then will the Guardians of Freedom* believe you? I'm a "natural born citizen so while this doesn't apply to me yet, I figure there must be a bunch like me who aren't and the law applies to.

    *aka Homeland Security, et al.

    1. Number6

      I'm glad you qualified that with a 'yet'.

      I'm wondering how they'll extract the information from those who are naturalised citizens, unless the starting plan is just to give themselves permission to hold the information without any specific plan to actively acquire it. I can't quite see USCIS doing a mailshot to people with a form asking them to fill it in. Or rather, that's what I'd like to see them try because that's the quickest route to court. More likely is that they'll pick off individuals at airports as they enter the country, which is the time when you're most vulnerable and surrounded by enforcement goons with limited access to a lawyer.

  5. Chairo
    Coffee/keyboard

    Naturalized

    Sorry, but according to your media history we found out that you like to wield deadly weapons, have a history of violence and a secret "Conan" identity. For safety reasons you cannot enter the country any more Mr. Schwarzenegger.

    You owe me a keyboard Mr. Trump.

  6. MrDamage Silver badge

    Papers Please!

    Welcome to the DPRUSA.

    It's almost like they don't want anyone to visit, live or work there.

  7. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    All in favour of becoming Amish?

    What if I just tell them that I'm practicing to become Amish and so dont use any social media designed after 1700? Ha! Try and track me then Mr Homeland Security...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All in favour of becoming Amish?

      Nice idea but the beard would get you arrested anyway.

    2. Tigra 07

      Re: All in favour of becoming Amish?

      Wouldn't an Amish plane entering the US raise questions anyway?

      Questions such as: "Sir, how the fuck is that wooden relic actually flying?"

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: All in favour of becoming Amish?

        You could sail into the country... Or cross one of the land borders.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of peoples social media handles are less incriminating than POTUS, let's face it, goading best Korea would probably get you a visit to the funny farm.

  9. K
    Trollface

    How exactly will this work?

    DHA: Excuse me sir, whats is your Facebook ID?

    ME: I'm not on Facebook

    DHA: Oh ok. What is your Twitter handle?

    ME: I'm not on Twitter

    DHA What about instagram?

    ME: I'm not on Instagram

    DHA: Thank you sir, you may enter..

    ME: Thank fuck for that, I thought you were going to ask for my Pornhub ID, that would have been embarrassing.

    1. Christoph

      Re: How exactly will this work?

      As long as they don't ask for my El Reg ID - several of my postings here have been less than grovellingly respectful to the World's Greatest Oligarchy.

      1. Semtex451
        Coat

        Re: How exactly will this work?

        Or mine

        1. Alister

          Re: How exactly will this work?

          I think yours might just have triggered some interest already...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: How exactly will this work?

        "As long as they don't ask for my El Reg ID "

        Which does raise the question as to whether this new law/guidance/whatever includes whatever they mean by "social media" account. I may, by default, have one or more "social media" accounts due to having a gmail address linked to my Android phone and Google Store account. If I do, I don't know about them nor use them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How exactly will this work?

          Sadly, almost every website that you can log into (including The Register) is infected by at least one parasite from one of the bigger social networks: whether it's Google Analprobe, being branded with Google Fonts, scripted with Google APIs, injected with the DoubleClick ads poison dart, connected with a long thread via those FB Like buttons, embedded tweets or YouTube videos, etc, etc.

          There's very sadly very little of the web where the ever-watching spider can't feel your movements, whichever strand you are standing on, nowadays.

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