GOP Raises Security Concerns About ICE ID Proposal

The idea of Biden distributing official identity papers to undocumented immigrants at the southern border aroused security worries among House Republicans.

Pilot Program

Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, along with 15 other Republicans, sent a memo to acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Head Tae Johnson on Friday.

The memo inquired about the national agency’s intended pilot program providing identification cards. It expressed concern that this could encourage more illegal immigration and validate illegal immigrants.

In their letter, the House Republicans stated this new initiative, dubbed the ICE Secure Docket Card effort, is meant in part to allow illegal immigrants to avoid physically checking in at ICE offices.

It will also let them gain easier access to services within the United States. Republicans are worried this pilot program is simply another initiative by the Biden administration that encourages undocumented entry by rewarding lawbreakers.

Axios revealed last week that the Biden presidency hopes to add $10 million to the fiscal year 2023 spending bill in order to launch the program. They want to do this before the November return of Republicans controlling the House and Senate. 

Republicans are hesitant to allow illegal aliens to check in with ICE agents digitally, rather than in person, despite the fact this has been the norm for several years.

The letter said committee Republicans learned from ICE personnel that a large number of immigrants engaged in Alternatives to Detention (ATD) initiatives fail to report in with ICE as required. They vanish into local communities.

The inadequacy of the ATD program to guarantee illegal immigrants’ return to ICE is not a justification for issuing them identity cards in the hopes that the statistics would improve.

It is rather an indicator that more of these unlawful illegals should be jailed, pending removal proceedings.

Criminal Records

Republicans demanded that ICE brief the Senate on its approach and submit all papers related to the reckless operation.

Lawmakers are afraid that ID cards would feature QR codes that link to court records and personal information about removal proceedings.

This raises security issues and questions about the probability that substantial taxpayer funds will be redirected from border security to document uploading and system maintenance.

According to an estimate by the Migration Policy Institute, only 74,082 noncitizens were detained in 2016, compared to almost 300,000 in the early years of former President Barack Obama.

Due to the illegal presence of more than 11 million people in the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has to target arrests, often focusing on those with criminal records, but occasionally arresting illegal immigrants without records or charges.

Under Biden, the number of unauthorized immigrants apprehended while illegally trying to enter the United States from Mexico has reached a historic high.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.