U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers can now create fictitious social media accounts to monitor information on foreigners seeking visas, green cards and citizenship.
An updated Homeland Security Department privacy assessment from July 2019 that was posted online Friday essentially reversed a prior ban on officers creating fake profiles.
A USCIS statement explaining the change says fake accounts and identities will make it easier for investigators to search for potential evidence of fraud or security concerns as they decide whether to allow someone entry into the U.S.
The State Department began requiring applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames in June, a vast expansion of the Trump administration's enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.