Buchanan praises new DHS policy to monitor social media accounts of foreigners entering US

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement that the social media accounts of all foreigners entering the United States will be monitored beginning this week mirrors legislation previously introduced by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

In response to the San Bernardino, California, shootings, Buchanan introduced the Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act during the 114th Congress and again this January. The measure called on the DHS director to review social media and additional public records before granting any foreign travelers visas to enter the country.

“Checking social media is standard practice for thousands of employers,” Buchanan said. “We need to make sure the individuals entering the U.S. are not here to harm Americans.”

Buchanan applauded the Trump administration for advancing the proposal in a new policy, noting that “online radicalization is an acute threat to the United States.”

“Radical Islamic jihadists use the Internet and social media sites to communicate, fund raise and recruit,” Buchanan said. “It’s time to fight fire with fire. To win on the digital battlefield, mandatory social media screening is required.”

On Monday, Ahmad Khan Rahami was found guilty in federal court for bombings in New York and New Jersey last year. Rahami, who was originally from Afghanistan, was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2011. Buchanan noted reports finding that U.S. officials would have found links to radical jihadi videos if they would have reviewed Rahami’s social media accounts.