Council Urges House of Representatives Against Expanding the Warrantless Surveillance of Immigrants in FISA Reauthorization Vote


April 16, 2024


April 16, 2024

The American Immigration Council sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives discussing the harmful impacts of a proposed amendment that would authorize intelligence agencies to conduct suspicionless searches of their databases related to immigrants traveling to the U.S., which would likely cover millions of people applying for immigration benefits every year.

The letter highlighted that this amendment is unnecessary given the multiple mechanisms already used to vet foreign individuals entering the country and would only further exacerbate visa processing backlogs. It emphasized that immigrants domestically could be caught under the travel vetting provision because it could be interpreted to apply to individuals residing in the United States on nonimmigrant visas, including temporary workers and international students, who travel outside the country for work or personal reasons and are merely seeking to return to the United States. The Council also noted that increased travel vetting could raise due process concerns for U.S. citizens who may be separated from family members indefinitely or for employers who are unable to bring employees to the U.S. due to the very limited rights individuals have to contest erroneous decisions at the consulate/Embassy level.

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