A new mandatory requirement for Jamaicans and other citizens across the globe to disclose all the social-media platforms they have visited in the last five years, along with their user names, when they apply for American visas will have a “chilling effect” on free speech, a Jamaica-born immigration attorney based in the United States (US) has said.
The assertion by Dahlia Walker Huntington came yesterday after the American Embassy in Kingston confirmed that the application forms for immigrant and non-immigrant visas have been updated by the State Department in Washington to request additional information from most applicants, including what it describes as “social-media identifiers” on popular portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The stipulation will affect the more than 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants that jostle for Washington’s stamp of approval every year. Diplomatic and some official-type visa applicants will be exempted.
Announced by the Trump administration more than a year ago, the new protocol took effect last Friday, May 31.