There’s some truly amazing bands from outside the U.S., not just in the world of metal but in all of music. Some of our favorite bands are from Europe, Australia and hell, even Asia. These are bands we’d all love to see tour here in the States; it’s not like a lot of us have the money to travel overseas to see them. But unfortunately, due to some new measures instituted by the Trump administration, we could see fewer bands even attempting to get into the U.S. to tour.
According to the Wall Street Journal, as part of the Trump’s administration’s “extreme vetting” process, everyone who wants to enter the country for even short stays could be subject to phone/contact searches and forced to give up passwords to social media accounts, searches of financial records and probing questions about ideology, religion, and more. As if that wasn’t enough:
“The administration also wants to subject more visa applicants to intense security reviews and have embassies spend more time interviewing each applicant. The changes could apply to people from all over the world, including allies like France and Germany.”
So don’t think this could just effect bands from certain countries: this is a blanket method that will be applied to everyone.
The WSJ article goes on to say:
“Homeland Security officials say the agency is planning to significantly increase demands for information from all visa applicants, including visitors, refugees and others seeking to immigrate.
“The changes might even apply to visitors from the 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which requires adherence to strict U.S. standards in data sharing, passport control and other factors, one senior official said. That includes some of the U.S.’s closest allies, such as the U.K., Japan and Australia.”
This all started as part of Trump’s controversial ban on six heavily Muslim countries, and though a majority of that ban was kept in check by U.S. courts, the ability for Homeland Security to participate in this kind of extreme vetting was not.
Let’s pause and think about that for a moment. If you had to hand over your phone, subject your social media to searches, and have your personal life probed just to enter the U.S. at a time when tensions are already high, would you even bother? Would you cough up your passwords to a Homeland Security official just to tour in a country that already isn’t that receptive to metal as a whole? Probably not.
“A second change would ask applicants for their social-media handles and passwords so that officials could see information posted privately in addition to public posts. DHS has experimented with asking for people’s handles so they can read public posts, but not those restricted to friends.
“‘We want to say for instance, “What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords,” so that we can see what they do on the internet,’ Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said at a congressional hearing in February. ‘If they don’t want to give us that information then they don’t come.’”
A lot of these procedures have already been implemented, and as a result we’re seeing the fallout (for example, Wormrot’s tour cancellation). But one thing’s clear, this will really hurt the little guys, the bands that are just beginning to get on their feet and gain exposure, bands that have prominence overseas but little pull here in the U.S. The bigger acts will likely be alright, but extreme acts, especially ones that portray on violent imagery, could be heavily affected.
Bottom line? If you’re a fan of extreme metal, good fucking luck seeing foreign bands here.
[via No Clean Singing]