Be careful – the USCIS wants to be your “friend”

The “USCIS is specifically instructing its agents to attempt to “friend” citizenship petitioners and their beneficiaries on social networks in the hope that these users will (perhaps inadvertently) allow agents to monitor their activities for evidence of suspected fraud, including evidence that their relationships might not live up to the USCIS’ standard of a legitimate marriage.”

From the language, I am not sure if these investigations only apply to U.S. citizen petitioners or citizenship applications (there are no citizenship “petitions” per se). In other words, people applying for citizenship, especially if based on three years of marriage to a U.S. citizen, or citizens or their spouses applying for adjustment of status based on a good faith marriage are probably targeted. The USCIS appears to be interested in investigating whether spousal relationships are bona fide. If I were an agent, I would also be looking to see if the applicant has good moral character (or not) judging by what the person posts online.

I am not surprised by this article. I would imagine that this might apply to USCIS applications across the board – including asylum or anything else. I, myself, am on some of these social networking sites. But there isn’t much dirt to be had on me – I’m just one of the 30-something moms posting pictures of her family for loved ones to see – privacy settings on high.

For more information on my practice, please visit my website at www.alanoimmigrationlaw.com.

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