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U.S. Official Says ‘Extreme Vetting’ To Include Social-Media, Telephone Checks

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said that would-be travelers from the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by U.S. President Donald Trump's recent travel ban will be subject to extreme vetting in the future.

Kelly said on January 31 that the vetting will include scrutiny of social media and an examination of their telephone records.

He added that there are many countries in addition to the seven targeted so far that don't have the kind of law enforcement, records-keeping, that kind of thing, that can convince us that one of their citizens is indeed who that citizen says they are.

Kelly also denied media reports that he had not been informed in advance of Trump's new policy, saying that he had seen two different drafts of the executive order.

On January 27, Trump ordered a 90-day suspension of arrivals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, as well as all refugees.

Kelly said the ban could be extended if the new vetting procedures are not ready by the deadline.

On the same day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenen clarified that dual nationals who hold citizenship from a country not on the list will be able to enter the United States based on the passport that they present.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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