Biden admin to launch pilot program issuing ID cards to illegal immigrants

The initiative aims to modernize the documentation process, but critics argue it could exacerbate illegal immigration.

Biden admin to launch pilot program issuing ID cards to illegal immigrants
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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The Biden administration is set to launch a pilot program in the coming weeks that will issue identification cards to thousands of illegal aliens, marking a significant shift in how the U.S. government documents so-called "undocumented" persons.

According to reports, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans a "limited rollout" of its Secure Docket Card program this summer, with plans to distribute approximately 10,000 ID cards across up to four U.S. cities, including Houston and Atlanta.

While the details of the card and pilot are still being finalized, ICE has stated that "the secure card will not be an official form of federal identification." The agency clarified that the card "would be provided only after national security background checks have been performed" and is intended solely for use by the Department of Homeland Security agencies, such as ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The initiative aims to "modernize" the documentation process for certain non-citizens by replacing the current practice of issuing paper documents to migrants who cross the border unlawfully. These paper documents outline their immigration status and upcoming court appearances but are susceptible to loss or deterioration over time, according to ICE, which cited security risks and inefficiency as reasons for the "necessity" of ID cards.

However, the pilot program's distribution of 10,000 cards would account for less than 1% of the total number of migrants who have entered the country since 2021.

Critics, including Republican House lawmakers and conservative groups, have voiced opposition to the initiative, arguing that providing ID cards could further exacerbate the issue of illegal immigration into the U.S.

"Just in time for the election, the Biden administration is quietly legitimizing a government-sanctioned invasion of our nation," said RJ Hauman of The Heritage Foundation. "Providing illegal aliens with identification will undoubtedly lead to obtaining other documents, benefits and rights — or create an entirely new identity. After all, most who cross the border have no identification information in their possession. So, how do we even know who they are?"

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