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Social media activity by Caribbean and other foreign nationals residing in the United States, and those hoping to visit the country, will now be the target of closer scrutiny by the U.S. government.

The new initiative becomes effective Oct. 18.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) want to gather additional information on immigrants and those in the U.S. who communicate with immigrants, including naturalized American citizens.

That includes “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results,” according to information from the Federal Register.

The decision has left observers in the Caribbean American community fearing intensified anti-immigration posture by U.S. President Donald Trump and blatant disregard for privacy by his administration. They hardly find the trend surprising.

“It’s an intrusion into your private space,” said Irwine Clare, a Jamaican American immigration advocate based in New York. “But that’s not new.”

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The DHS/USCIS noted that information gleaned from social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, can be used to decide who is granted permission to enter the U.S. and if those already living in the U.S. legally are eligible for government benefits. Overall, it will be used to track activities by immigrants READ MORE

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