The Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York (ART) and the Concerned Archivists Alliance (CAA) issued a letter to over 150 congressional staffers opposing the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) proposed Visa Lifecycle Vetting program, under the activities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Visa Lifecycle Vetting Program aims to use social media monitoring to automatically flag 10,000 people annually—inside the country and abroad—for deportation investigations and visa denial. Formerly known as the “Extreme Vetting Initiative,” the Visa Lifecycle Vetting plan represents ICE efforts to monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the rest of internet to automatically identify people for deportation or visa denial based on the exact criteria from the Executive Order 13769 (widely known as the “Muslim ban”).
This plan demonstrates, at best, an incredibly flawed data mining initiative, and at worst, a repressive mode of government surveillance under the guise of efficiency and objectivity. The Visa Lifecycle Vetting initiative will undermine civil liberties and free speech, the cornerstones of our democracy.
Read the full letter here