Chicago health officials will implement social media checks on the accounts of people they believe have visited or traveled through states with a high number of COVID cases, and have not followed the city’s 14-day self-quarantine mandate. The city of Chicago has quarantine requirements for anyone visiting or returning to the city from a list of states seeing a rise in coronavirus cases. Currently, 22 states and Puerto Rico are on the Chicago travel quarantine list.
Chicago health officials say that social media checks are not an attempt to monitor. Many immigrants fear government reviews of their social media could be used in immigration cases against them or their family members.
Beginning in May 2019, the State Department began social media checks on all Visa requests as well as asking other questions during the Visa process. Social media, email and phone number histories had already been required from applicants who traveled through terrorist territories. New social media checks on accounts and “social identifiers” including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube require the applicant to provide any account names they may have used during the previous five years, as well as any social platforms not included in the form. USCIS visa applicants are now asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities. USCIS estimated the new social media review requirement affects 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants annually, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education.
Mario Godoy and the attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for immigrant rights and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.