TUCSON, AZ – Rep. Grijalva released the following statement after reports confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has submitted a new regulation into the Federal Register to begin collecting social media data and histories to add to the files of U.S. immigrants as soon as October 18th. Individuals that will be susceptible to this overreaching surveillance program include permanent residents, naturalized citizens and all other immigrants living in the United States. Rep. Grijalva’s statement also comes after recent revelations that the Department of Justice is seeking the personal information of Facebook users who are “anti-administration activists.”
“Under this new surveillance program, the lines between what is a premise for an Orwell novel and what is actual policy implemented by the Trump administration continue to blur,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Unfortunately, this blatant violation and invasion of privacy is the new reality millions of individuals – including naturalized citizens and permanent residents – will be subject to.
“Not only do these new rules jeopardize our constitutional right to freely express ourselves, but they mirror previous steps taken by this administration to suppress dissenting views – the latest examples being the collection of IP addresses for people visiting websites that are critical of Trump and DOJ search warrants targeting persons who have been outspoken against this administration. In terms of its national security objective, these new measures are highly ineffective, yielding nothing but a blatant invasion of privacy and the continual fear-mongering of immigrants.
“Undoubtedly, Trump is dragging our country closer to becoming one with no privacy or civil rights protections. Our very foundation is freedom of speech, which encapsulates all platforms, including social media.”