Homeland Security worries vetting immigrants with Facebook searches too intrusive



It turns out one of the San Bernardino killers had written jihadi messages repeatedly on Facebook, but despite her vigorous vetting, that information wasn't uncovered (perhaps they were searching for her on MySpace instead of Facebook?).

Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. None uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.

Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.

On social media, Fehda Malik has made provocative comments of her own. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, she posted a remark on Facebook beside a photo of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center that could be interpreted as anti-American.

Obama tells us that we have an extremely vigorous vetting process. Then what need is there on top of that to do a 30 second google or facebook search to find out more information about prospective immigrants? If Homeland Security does this search, and finds something suspicious, and denies immigrants entry, it will only make them mad with America, and push them into the arms of ISIS. It also probably involves prejudice of some kind.

As Mark Zuckerberg himself recently said,

“If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you [to post pictures of planes smashing into the World Trade Center--ed.].”

According to that logic, if we start nitpicking Muslim posts on facebook, Muslims won't feel they have that peaceful and safe environment, right?

Speaking seriously for a moment, Obama wants to have a database listing all our emails, all our web searches, all our phone calls, income, and medical information. But when it comes to immigrants, he's afraid to use the search box on Facebook. And that tells you everything that's wrong with this administration. And that's why when we can't tell what's in the heart of every Muslim who applies to enter our country, it's time, as I called several months ago, even before Donald Trump, to stop Muslim immigration now.

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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