President Donald Trump’s newly-appointed U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, told Congress on Tuesday that his department is considering requiring all Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven so-called terrorist hotspot countries to relinquish their social media passwords prior to being granted entry into the United States.
“We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?” Kelly told the House Committee on Homeland Security on Tuesday, according to NBC News. “If they don’t want to cooperate, then you don’t come in.”
The seven Muslim-majority countries referenced by Kelly are Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen; whose citizens were recently banned from entering the U.S. by Trump’s controversial Executive Order 13769, which is currently in legal limbo after a federal judge blocked it from being enforced.
Kelly acknowledged that the idea of requiring all immigrants to give up their social media passwords is far from a concrete plan, but rather, one “of the things that we’re thinking about,” according to NBC News.
Kelly also informed Congress that the Trump administration is considering adding additional security layers, such as obtaining refugees’ and immigrants’ financial records to allow U.S. security personnel to trace remittances and other transmissions of money.
“When someone says, ‘I’m from this town and this was my occupation,’ [officials] essentially have to take the word of the individual,” he said. “I frankly don’t think that’s enough, certainly President Trump doesn’t think that’s enough. So we’ve got to maybe add some additional layers.”
“We can follow the money, so to speak. How are you living, who’s sending you money?” he said. “It applies under certain circumstances, to individuals who may be involved in on the payroll of terrorist organizations.”