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Muslim Advocates Condemns State Department’s Expansion of Intrusive Visa Questionnaire Proposal

Administration chooses discrimination over national security

Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates, in a public comment, castigated the U.S. Department of State for its invasive decision to expand the social media information it collects from visa applicants.

As the comment states, “We write once more to express our serious concern with expanding the Department of State’s supplemental questionnaire to all 14,710,000 visa applicants. Such an expansion will negatively impact free speech and association rights, potentially endanger vulnerable visa applicants, and undermine the right to freely exercise one’s religion without discrimination.”

Muslim Advocates filed a similar comment when the Department announced its decision to make an invasive supplemental questionnaire for visa applicants a long-term part of the application process.

According to Matthew Callahan, staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, “This policy not only fails to advance our national security but is, in fact, detrimental to our security and our constitutional values. It will overload and overburden consular officers with information vulnerable to misinterpretation. This policy is simply another example of the administration’s anti-Muslim animus – bigotry at the cost of our safety and inalienable rights.”

The law firm of Covington & Burling LLP assisted with the drafting of the comments.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.