IRLI Submits Public Comment on DHS Immigration Records System Change

Press Releases

October 17, 2017

Ensuring the safety and security of our communities

WASHINGTON – The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) recently submitted public comment to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) notice on immigration record-keeping practices designed to identify national security risks. According to the notice, the changes would “expand the categories of records” to include, among other things, “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results …”

IRLI’s comment applauded DHS’s efforts to update its record-keeping to protect U.S. national security and ensure immigration authorities are able to act based on complete information.

IRLI noted in part, “the issue of terrorists and terrorist organizations using social media to plan and carry out attacks, as well as seek new recruits, is a real national security threat that has been examined by Congress on numerous occasions.” IRLI concluded, “To therefore handcuff immigration authorities and expect them to not research, review, analyze, collect, maintain or otherwise even consider an individual’s social media presence … would thereby create a gaping hole in our immigration screening process and record-keeping system that would put the needs of those trying to do harm over the safety of law-abiding U.S. citizens and residents.”

“These are common sense changes to DHS’s record-keeping practices, which assist in facilitating Agency’s mission to protect our national security,” said Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel. “The information in question is public in nature, and does not in any way compromise a person’s expectation of privacy.”

Founded in 1986, IRLI is a public-interest legal education and advocacy law firm dedicated to achieving responsible immigration policies that serve national interests.

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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