Border crossers released into the U.S. will soon receive identification cards so the Biden administration can better track them until they appear for their court hearings, which is usually years after migrants first arrive to seek asylum.
The new program will also help keep track of the huge number of undocumented immigrants living in the US
Images of the new identification cards emerged after footage Monday showed thousands of migrants illegally crossing the Rio Grande River from Piedras Negras to Eagle Pass, Texas. Then, nearly 500 miles away, El Paso, Texas, experienced a similar surge, with 1,700 migrants crossing the border in a 24-hour period.
Republicans believe the program is just another way for President Joe Biden to welcome illegal immigrants instead of deporting them.
The ICE Secure Docket card contains an Immigration and Customs Enforcement logo, an image of the migrant, along with a QR code and identifying information found on a typical driver’s license or identification document.
A look at proposed ICE Secure Docket cards for a pilot rollout of a new program aimed at better tracking undocumented migrants released into the US
While the program is still in development, migrants continue to arrive en masse at the southern border between ports of entry. Pictured: About 600 migrants arrived at the border on a freight train on Wednesday and marched through the streets of Ciudad, Juarez to cross into the US in El Paso, Texas
Additionally, according to ICE, the cards will include “advanced” security features, with the intended goal of improving “current, inconsistent paper forms that often quickly deteriorate.”
Although the program is still in the development phase, Fox News has obtained images of the proposed ICE Secure Docket cards.
Last year, reports emerged on the ICE Secure Docket Card program with the hope of “modernizing various forms of documentation provided to provisionally released noncitizens through a consistent, verifiable, secure card.”
Currently, migrants who arrive illegally and are not removed from the country are released into the US and issued various documents. The new program will attempt to digitize everything and only give migrants an ID card to keep track of.
In addition to providing proper identification, the ICE Secure Docket cards would also be used by migrants to check in and schedule reporting meetings with ICE.
The cards could also be used for easy and quick identification by enforcement officials – and could provide information on, for example, whether the migrants are deportable or not.
However, some Republicans are concerned about the new program. They see it as Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, prioritizing welcoming illegal border crossers over removal.
“Americans and migrants are dying every day because of this administration’s open borders,” Trump-era acting commissioner of CBP Mark Morgan complained to DailyMail.com
‘What is their reaction?’ he asked. ‘Securing the border? Enforce the law? Protect the American people from fentanyl flooding across the border?”
‘No. Instead, let’s provide those who violate the rule of law and increase the instability of our borders with official government documents! Instead of stopping the flow of illegal immigration, they are making it easier to expedite their release into the country after their illegal entry.”
Migrants wait under the International Bridge II in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday after illegally crossing into the U.S. on the Rio Grande River
The program follows this year’s rollout of the CBP One app, which allows migrants to sign up online and schedule a time to enter the country through legal ports of entry to make asylum claims.
While the app helped quell the disturbing images of illegal border crossings for a short time, there has been a renewed increase in the number of migrants crossing the border between ports of entry in recent months.
The border crossings resulted in the Mexico port of entry being closed in El Paso, while staff were diverted to help process the massive flow of illegal migrants arriving between ports of entry in Texas.
In a statement Friday, Custom and Border Protection (CBP) announced a “temporary suspension” at the busy Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) port, shared between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.
There was no specification in the statement as to when the port will return to normal operations, only a note that CBP would do so “as soon as possible.”
“The temporary suspension at BOTA will allow CBP’s Office of Field Operations officials to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in processing noncitizens who have arrived between ports of entry, including vulnerable populations such as families and unaccompanied children,” CBP said in Friday’s statement.
The statement continued: “CBP regularly plans and implements emergency actions, such as this, to support the agency’s overarching mission and ensure the safety and well-being of those in agency custody.”