Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Refugee Ban | extreme vetting | visa | Rex Tillerson

NYT: Tillerson Enacts Trump's 'Extreme Vetting' of Travel Visas

Image: NYT: Tillerson Enacts Trump's 'Extreme Vetting' of Travel Visas
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (AP Photo/Tripplaar Kristoffer)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 09:44 PM

The Trump administration is adding new security checks on non-U.S. citizen tourists, business travelers, and relatives of American residents requesting visas, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent cables last week to all American embassies ordering the increased scrutiny on visa applicants – the first evidence of the "extreme vetting" President Donald Trump has promised, the Times reported.

"Consular officers should not hesitate to refuse any case presenting security concerns," Tillerson wrote in the cable dated March 15, the Times reported. "All visa decisions are national security decisions."

The March 15 cable suggests questions should include an applicant's travel history, addresses, and work history for 15 years, and all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles used in the past five years, the Times reported.

But another cable, sent two days later, indicated consular officers should not begin asking for the travel and work histories until the State Department received authorization from the Office of Management and Budget, the Times reported.

The checks do not apply to the 38 countries with which the United States has a visa waiver program, letting applicants get through the process more quickly; those allies include most of Europe, Australia, and Japan, the Times reported.

No Middle Eastern or African states belong to the program, the Times reported.

Though federal courts have temporarily blocked Trump's travel ban executive order to temporarily prevent people from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States, Trump also issued a memorandum ordering the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the Homeland Security secretary to implement policies to enhance visa security, The Hill reported.

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The Trump administration is adding new security checks on non-U.S. citizen tourists, business travelers, and relatives of American residents requesting visas, The New York Times reported Thursday.
extreme vetting, visa, Rex Tillerson, security
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2017-44-23
Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 09:44 PM
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