Ideological Screening at the Border
Nate Kitch

Ideological Screening at the Border

Documents released in our FOIA lawsuit for records on the "extreme vetting" program

This Reading Room contains all of the documents produced to date in Knight Institute v. DHS, a FOIA lawsuit the Knight Institute filed on October 4, 2017, seeking records on how the Trump administration is implementing the president’s call for an “extreme vetting program."

Our FOIA lawsuit sought records from the agencies charged with developing the program: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of State (DOS). We requested documents concerning the program and the government’s asserted power to exclude individuals on the basis of their speech, beliefs, or associations.

In response, the agencies released over 300 documents, many heavily redacted, and hardly any referencing the extreme vetting program itself.

How to use this Reading Room: The collection below can be searched by keyword, or filtered using the criteria in the left-hand column. In addition, any search can be filtered for “Key Documents,” which are the documents that Knight Institute staff have flagged as the most significant disclosed.

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  • DOS Memo: Implementation Guidelines for Fiji Visa Restrictions

    Memorandum detailing the implementation of a policy restricting issuance of visas to “persons who willfully participated in the overthrow of the lawfully elected government” of Fiji in 2006.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Promoting Democracy in Fiji Through Visa Restrictions

    Memorandum proposing a policy restricting issuance of visas to “persons who willfully participated in the overthrow of the lawfully elected government” of Fiji in 2006. The memorandum contemplates needing to rely on the INA's foreign policy provision in some cases.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Implementation Guidelines for Fiji Visa Restrictions

    Memorandum detailing the implementation of a policy restricting issuance of visas to “persons who willfully participated in the overthrow of the lawfully elected government” of Fiji in 2006.

    6/28/2018

  • Letter from Stephen A. Edson | Deputy Assistant Sec'y of State | DOS to Melissa Goodman | Staff Att'y | Am. Civil Liberties Union re: ACLU v. Department of States

    Letter providing statistical data on the use of the endorse-or-espouse provision from its enactment and revision through late 2006. Only one individual had been found inadmissible under that provision during that period, and that individual was nonetheless issued visas subject to DHS waiver authority.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Implementing Visa Sanctions Against Syria

    Memorandum proposing tightening visa restrictions on Syrian regime officials, noting the need to rely on the INA's foreign policy provision in denying visas to immediate family members on the basis of association alone.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Implementing Visa Sanctions Against Syria

    Memorandum proposing tightening visa restrictions on Syrian regime officials, noting the need to rely on the INA's foreign policy provision in denying visas to immediate family members on the basis of association alone.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Implementing Visa Sanctions Against Syria

    Memorandum proposing tightening visa restrictions on Syrian regime officials, noting the need to rely on the INA's foreign policy provision in denying visas to immediate family members on the basis of association alone.

    6/28/2018

  • DOS Memo: Implementing Visa Sanctions Against Syria

    Memorandum proposing tightening visa restrictions on Syrian regime officials, noting the need to rely on the INA's foreign policy provision in denying visas to immediate family members on the basis of association alone.

    6/28/2018

  • Foreign Affairs Manual Vol. 9 § 40.32: Notes

    Manual which appears to be a precursor to what is currently FAM Vol.9 § 302.6. It includes a brief note on applying an earlier iteration of the endorse-or-espouse provision, which it describes as “directed at irresponsible expressions of opinion by aliens who are able to influence the actions of others. An example might be a community leader who publicly praised Al-Qaida in the wake of a terrorist activity for which it claimed responsibility, and who urged the community not to cooperate with efforts by law enforcement officials to bring those responsible to justice.”

    6/28/2018

  • Foreign Affairs Manual Vol. 9 § 40.32: Notes

    Manual which appears to be a precursor to what is currently FAM Vol.9 § 302.6. This version predates the endorse-or-espouse provision.

    6/28/2018