New ID card for immigrants

New ID card for immigrants

September 06, 2022

By: Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees, Board of Global Ministries

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) faces an unprecedented influx of migrants at the border. The majority are turned back to their native countries, but those who might be eligible for asylum in the U.S. are processed and released into the U.S. pending a hearing on their application. ICE is developing a new ID card for migrants to facilitate this long application process.  

This card is called a “Secure Docket Card,” likened to a photo ID, and includes name, nationality, and a “quick response” or QR code to access a portal with relevant immigration information. The portal will provide a more straightforward way for potential migrants to sign in, update their information and check with federal authorities when necessary.

Contrary to some information, this card is NOT:
  1. A document giving immigrants rights to government benefits, such as health insurance, welfare payments, unemployment, etc.
  2. Giving immigrants the right to vote.
The new card is part of a program to modernize various forms of documentation and uses cutting-edge security features. Jeremy McKinney, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), expressed optimism about the card.  

“If ICE is moving in a new direction in which eligible non-citizens can report on their status, provide information about their location and address, receive case management support to help them understand and prepare for hearings, without the need for electronic surveillance or jail cells, AILA welcomes that approach,”  said McKinney.