ACLU Comment on Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants
The ACLU submitted this comment in response to the Department of State’s 60-Day Notice of Information Collection: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants.
Since issuing the emergency notice regarding this proposal in May, the Department of State has made few to no changes to the supplemental questions nor provided any further information regarding their use. The proposed questions reach deep into the histories of visa applicants without any parameters or guidance regarding when, how, and to whom these questions will apply, increasing the likelihood of inconsistent and ineffective determinations and creating an environment ripe for profiling and discrimination. The Department also fails to provide definitions or parameters with respect to the social media question, creating substantial concerns regarding the meaning or purpose of the question; the substantial impact of the question on privacy, due process rights, and freedom of speech and expression of individuals in the United States, including U.S. citizens; and the use, storage, and retention of the information collected about visa applicants and individuals living in the United States, including U.S. citizens. We oppose the proposed questions in this notice and urge the Department to abandon them in their entirety.