With the rise in border crossings and undocumented immigrants arriving into the United States, the Biden Administration plans to test a national temporary I.D. card system, the Secure Docket Card. Those with pending cases would get the temporary card. Learn about the Secure Docket Card, what it plans to solve, and what it might look like.

What do Secure Docket Cards Solve

The pilot program for Secure Docket Cards intends to alleviate many immigrants’ issues when they come into the country without proper identification. Secure Docket Cards can help these immigrants obtain state benefits. The benefits tend to include healthcare, housing, and transportation services.

Officials claim this proposed system would facilitate better communication and efficiency between ICE and immigrants. ICE can keep track of them in a centralized system for things like removal court proceedings.

What’s more, these cards could allow individuals to travel by plane in the country, if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts it. At this point, TSA accepts some immigration documents as proper identification.

The ICE Secure Docket Card program is part of a pilot program to modernize various forms of documentation provided to provisionally released noncitizens through a consistent, verifiable, secure card, an ICE spokesperson said.

To get pushed through, the Biden administration needs Congress’s to approve this before the end of September 2023. This push is in line with the Biden Administration’s other efforts to improve ICE. These efforts include ending family detention, focusing on arrests of immigrants with criminal records, and offering alternatives to the traditional detention programs.

Why before the end of September? Anticipating a possible takeover by Republicans in November.

The administration has put $10 million aside for this pilot program in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. 

How the Program Would Work

While there are no concrete details released yet, these are the guidelines some are speculating.

  • The card would feature the individual’s photo, biographic details, and official security features.
  • Each Secure Docket Card would have a Q.R. code that allows the immigrant to access court information and paperwork through an app. Access to these documents would reduce the number of FOIA requests overall.
  • The I.D. card system would allow authorities to see which immigrants are asylum seekers. This lets those seekers prove that they are in the immigration system already.
  • ICE would give the cards to immigrants not in detention centers who illegally crossed or others going through the removal process.
  • Advocates claim it incentivizes immigrants to check-in with officials more often to avoid having to wait at physical ICE offices.

Stay tuned for more updates on this program!