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US Visa and Immigration News: Trump's National Vetting Center

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today we are going to be talking about some recent news that came to my attention. We've posted it directly on the Integrity Legal blog that's Integrity- or you can just Google ” Integrity Legal Blog” and you'll be able to find it rather quickly. In one of our February postings we discussed this specific turn of events. It appears that President Donald Trump has signed orders which are going to create something called the National Vetting Center with respect to the processing of applications and petitions for US visas and other sort of travel documentation. So in order to provide some further insight into this, we are quoting directly from USA Today, this was also quoted on our blog,” the National Vetting Center will be run by the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the intelligence community and the Departments of State, Justice and Defense. Its mission: to collect, store, share and disseminate and use a broad range of information about people who seek to enter the United States with a goal of identifying the people who may be a threat to National Security or Public Safety. This is yet another step towards knowing who is coming to the United States, that they are who they say they are and that they do not pose a threat to our nation”, said Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nelson in a statement. A couple of things first before I go any further on the progress of this development. It should be noted that this new National Vetting Center should not be confused with what's called now the National Visa Center, which also has the acronym NVC. The National Visa Center which we go at length in discussing in another video on this channel, the National Visa Center is designed essentially to collate documentation for purposes of forwarding to a US Embassy or Consulate abroad with respect to the overall immigration process.  In a way they are sort of a clearing house and compilation center and they go ahead and coordinate with both USCIS as well as the various embassies and consulates outside the United States although they are under the direct auspices of  Department of State. They are more of an administrative function I guess is the best way to phrase their overall mandate. This National Vetting Center, so-called, seems to have a mandate related more to security and more to background searches etc. Another article which comes from, the headline being “Trump Creates National Vetting Center for Immigrants, Refugees and Travelers”. Quoting directly with respect to the order on this, to quote directly, “the order will allow Homeland Security and other agencies involved in the process six months to establish the center which Administration officials said is intended to streamline vetting and improve the flow of information between various federal agencies”.  A couple of things to take away from this.

First of all I don't mean to say “I told you so”, but “I told you so!” with respect to certain pundits or I guess commenters on some of my prior videos with respect to extreme vetting generally. The whole sort of buzzword, sound byte associated with extreme vetting came about sort of at the same time or in the direct aftermath of the so-called travel ban which happened about a year ago from the time of this video back in January, February 2017. People said “oh, why are you talking about extreme vetting in the context of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand?” It was because I felt at that time, any time one of these initiatives is undertaken, often times it has broader implications. I have very little doubt that the National Vetting Center, again I don't know if that that's exactly what it's going to be called but it sounds like that's probably going to be the title, or the official title of whatever this organization ultimately looks like after it's established and sort of funded and staffed. This looks like it's going to apply to everybody. It looks like it's going to apply to all visas being processed for the United States, so again the overall policy of extreme vetting generally, although not specific to one region, or it may be initially intended to target one region, it looks like it's going to affect everyone. Again according to every source I've come across, including the one cited just a moment ago, it looks like they have 6 months to get this thing up and going. At that point it's anyone's guess how this thing actually affects the overall visa process. Is it going to have an effect on family-based immigration? Hard to say. Is it going to have a tremendous impact on fiancée visas? Hard to say. At this time your guess is kind of as good as mine, although I suspect it will have broad implications across the board with respect to all visas that are being sought for the United States. It might or might not impact things like us tourist visas. Again hard to say. There was talk of, at one point, we did videos going back a few months back in 2017, kind of over the summer into the early fall, where they were talking about possibly even bringing DHS on board to deal with the visa function that's been traditionally undertaken by the State Department. Is this a step in that direction? Will Department of Homeland Security now have a role to play with respect to non-immigrant visas such as tourist visas processed overseas? Again difficult to say but I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility. This overall program, this overall institution, seems designed to specifically, well I shouldn't say specifically, seems designed to broadly look at everyone seeking visas to the United States regardless of what type of visa or where they're from and go ahead and put them through a vetting process. How this is going to affect the timeline and the timing of the process for getting a visa to the United States. Again difficult to say; we just don't know. We will keep you updated on this channel with respect to this issue but for the time being it looks like we have about a little less than 6 months before we start seeing initiatives from the National Vetting Centre come online.