ICE Quietly Planning to Issue Photo IDs to Illegal Aliens
FAIR Take | October 2023
Instead of enforcing our immigration laws, the Biden Administration has directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to roll out the welcome mat and provide photo ID cards to illegal aliens it releases into the country. Images leaked show pictures of the proposed ID cards, which include a photo, identifying information, and security details. Not only do the proposed IDs make a mockery of our interior enforcement efforts, they serve to normalize the existence of illegal aliens in the U.S.
ICE launched the pilot program for these ID cards, called the Secure Docket Card Program, last year to provide illegal aliens with an ID card upon release. According to Fox News, ICE claims the IDs would streamline the process for releasing illegal aliens, and “improve current, inconsistent paper forms that often degrade rapidly in real-world use.” Aliens will be able to use these cards to check-in with ICE, and the agency believes their agents will benefit by quickly verifying an alien’s identity.
The specifics of the Secure Docket Card Program have not been disclosed to the public. However, as a handful of details have been released to Congress, some lawmakers have become wary about the program’s implications. In a letter to the Acting ICE Director last July, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee listed several major concerns with the ID cards. In particular, they expressed concern that the cards were being designed so that illegal aliens could report to ICE remotely, instead of physically presenting themselves at an ICE office. They also were concerned that the ID cards feature QR codes that link back to court documents and personal information related to removal cases, possibly creating security risks. Managing a program containing an exorbitant amount of personal information is no small feat, which also caused committee members to question whether taxpayer funds would be “diverted from immigration enforcement to uploading documents into and maintaining a secure system.”
Finally, the Committee Republicans questioned whether the ID cards would increase the likelihood “that illegal aliens will use them to improperly access benefits such as housing, healthcare, and transportation.” The Committee suggested that the Secure Docket Card Program was yet another way for the Biden Administration to reward law-breaking behavior and put the needs of illegal aliens before Americans.
So far, what is known about the Secure Docket Card Program leaves one wondering whether creating these ID cards is a stepping stone to other open-border schemes. In essence, this “IDs for illegal aliens” program is designed to accommodate lawbreakers and make it easier for them to stay in the U.S. longer. With millions of illegal aliens being released into the United States, the Secure Docket Card program would guarantee that all of them are eligible for a new photo ID from ICE to make their unlawful stay in the United States more convenient.
ICE officers have taken an oath to protect our national security and the public safety. They have a mission to enforce our immigration laws. Yet they are told time and again by this administration to ignore the oath that they took and the mission they signed up to do. Instead, they are being tasked with running a concierge service for illegal aliens.
With over 2.8 million illegal aliens already encountered at our nation’s borders and counting in Fiscal Year 2023, a policy that offers an ID is not a solution to our immigration crisis. The government should not be enabling illegal aliens to live in the U.S. for years. Indeed, all of this could be avoided if the government simply enforced existing law and ended their mass release policies. Section 235 of the Immigration and Nationality Act already requires the government to detain and quickly remove illegal aliens through expedited removal. As a nation, we should insist that the Biden Administration enforce the laws.