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US border agents checking Facebook profiles, lawyer says

Social media accounts are being checked for political views in the wake of President Donald Trump's immigration ban, according to a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
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Mike Sorrentino
2 min read

Checking a social media account might be part of the vetting process in the wake of President Donald Trump's immigration ban.

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Should what's on your Facebook page be a factor in determining whether you're allowed to re-enter the United States? That's a question to ponder in the wake of President Donald Trump's ban on immigration that began on Friday.

Border patrol agents are checking the Facebook accounts of people who are being held in limbo for approval to enter the US, according to a Saturday tweet by immigration lawyer Mana Yegani that was spotted by The Independent.

"US border patrol is deciding re-entry for green card holders on a case by case basis -- questions about political views, checking Facebook, etc," Yegani's tweet writes.

The ban currently applies to immigrants from seven countries, leading tech executives from almost every major company -- including Apple, Google, Facebook and Netflix -- to decry the move as "un-American."

Yegani, who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNET that checking phones has been reported by other lawyers as part of the vetting process.

"The CBP going through passengers phones from the seven banned countries happens when the individual is interrogated (put under extreme vetting)," Yegani said.

Incidentally, that's in line with a warning from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that in general, anyone can have their phone checked while at the border.

Yegani told The Independent that she and other lawyers have been fielding calls from people who are already cleared to live in America, but are getting stuck at the border regardless.

"These are people that are coming in legally. They have jobs here and they have vehicles here," Yegani said in the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

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