Report: White House may ask foreign visitors for social media info, cell phone contacts

The White House may compel US customs officials and border patrol agents to ask foreign visitors to provide their social media and cell phone contacts upon entering the US, White House policy director Stephen Miller said on Saturday.

The move would fall under Trump's executive order temporarily barring refugees and visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries —Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the US, according to CNN.

14 PHOTOS
Scenes from US airports after Trump's travel restriction
See Gallery
Scenes from US airports after Trump's travel restriction
Hossein Khoshbakhty wipes tears from his eyes while speaking during an interview about his Iranian brother, a U.S. Green Card holder effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Homa Homaei, a U.S. Citizen from Iran, is embraced by a lawyer working to help her Iranian family members effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Port Authority Police Department block an entrance as protesters gather outside Terminal 4 at JFK airport in opposition to U.S. president Donald Trump's proposed ban on immigration in Queens, New York City, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Attorney Talia Inlender, (C), works on paperwork with lawyers for family members of passengers effected by the travel ban outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Lawyers work on paperwork to help family members of passengers effected by the travel ban outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Demonstrators gather outside of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) airport to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order blocking visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations in New York, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. Friday's executive order suspending refugee resettlements and barring entry to people from seven Middle East nations, is 'not a Muslim ban,' President Trump said. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Lawyers work on paperwork for family members of passengers effected by the travel ban outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Sarah Saedian speaks with an attorney about her Iranian relatives as lawyers work to help family members of passengers effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Hossein Khoshbakhty speaks during an interview about his Iranian brother, a U.S. Green Card holder effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Hossein Khoshbakhty, (L), speaks with attorney Talia Inlender about his Iranian family members effected by the travel ban as Homa Homaei, (2nd L), looks on outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Sarah Saedian holds a bouquet of roses as she speaks with attorneys about her Iranian relatives working to help her family members effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Hossein Khoshbakhty speaks during an interview about his Iranian brother, a U.S. Green Card holder effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Attorney Talia Inlender, (R), speaks with Hossein Khoshbakhty, (L), and Homa Homaei, family members of Iranian passengers effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Syrians have been banned indefinitely.

The idea of checking foreigners' social media posts, which remains limited to a preliminary discussion, draws on a supposed history of terror attacks where the attacker had previously expressed extremist views on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Some have pointed to the San Bernardino terror attack as evidence that such a policy might be useful: An FBI document produced shortly after the shooting said that the woman who helped carry it out pledged allegiance to ISIS while the attack was ongoing. FBI director James Comey later confirmed, however, that the attackers — Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29 — expressed support for "jihad and martyrdom" in private communications but never did so publicly on social media.

It is unclear whether the social media mandate would be constitutional. Legal challenges have already been presented to Trump's "extreme vetting" order, and large protests erupted at airports across the country on Saturday as news emerged that people from the banned countries, who had valid visas and green cards, were being detained — and, in some cases, deported — by customs officials and border patrol agents.

Lawyers representing two Iraqi refugees who were detained at John F. Kennedy airport in New York filed legal challenges to Trump's executive order, and a federal judge in Brooklyn issued an emergency rulingSaturday evening to prevent the continued deportation of travelers.

The ruling, a temporary emergency stay, now allows those who landed in the US and hold a valid visa to remain. Federal judges in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington also made emergency rulings on various aspects of the executive order.

Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.