Senators call for mandatory social media checks for visa screenings

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic U. S. Senators, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to immediately require social media background checks as part of the visa screening process.

This comes after some suggest that the female San Bernadino shooter may have expressed support of terrorism online before applying for her visa.

According to The New York Times, American law enforcement found old and unreported postings where Tashfeen Malik made little effort to hide her views on violent Jihad.

Malik’s fiancé, the male attacker and U.S. citizen, had applied for a K-1 visa on her behalf.

Click here for full coverage of the San Bernardino shooting.

The K-1 visa program is among the smallest visa categories managed by the government. Applicants are subject to a vetting process that includes at least one in-person interview, fingerprints, checks against U.S. terrorists watch lists, reviews of family and travel history as well as places where a person lived and worked. Social media is rarely included in those checks.

In total, 22 Democratic Senators signed the letter to Homeland Security in hopes of making social media background checks more consistent for those people wanting to come to the United States as part of the visa process.