FIRST ON FOX: New images obtained by Fox News Digital shed light on the Biden administration's planned ID for illegal immigrants, as officials look for ways to track the volume of migrants being released into the U.S.

Fox News, along with other outlets, reported last year on the ICE Secure Docket Card program, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement said will "modernize various forms of documentation provided to provisionally released noncitizens through a consistent, verifiable, secure card."

Migrants who arrive at the border illegally and are not removed but instead released into the interior are often given a number of documents depending on their situation. The images show a card with room for a photograph, a QR code and identifying information and security details, as well as the ICE logo in the top left corner.


Images show the ICE Secure Docket card. (Fox News)

ICE previously announced that the ID will have a photograph, biographic identifiers and "cutting-edge" security features. The agency said then the program was still in development and would be considered for further expansion pending the outcome of the pilot. ICE has now currently completed a required pilot notification to Congress. 

"The ICE secure docket card concept is a pilot program that would modernize documentation provided to some noncitizens," an ICE spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. "While the specifics of the program are under development, it is important to note the secure card will not be an official form of federal identification. The secure card will indicate it is for use by DHS agencies and would be provided only after national security background checks have been performed."

"Currently, noncitizens receive paper documents from the federal government about their immigration status. Paper documents pose a security risk, are easily lost, and degrade rapidly in real-world use, creating inefficiencies for the government and noncitizens," they said.

The card could be used to check in and schedule reporting meetings with ICE. The agency hopes that it can be used in the field to easily verify an alien’s identity and to see if they are deportable. But the program has alarmed conservatives, who see it as part of an agenda for welcoming, rather than removing, those in the country illegally.

"ICE is a federal law enforcement agency, not the DMV. When will Congress wake up and put an end to these open-borders, anti-enforcement programs that defy the agency’s mission and enable the crisis?" RJ Hauman, president of the National Immigration Center for Enforcement (NICE) and a visiting adviser at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital this week.

"ICE should be arresting, detaining, and removing those who come here illegally, not doling out social services," he said.

That echoes concerns expressed by lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee last year, who said they feared that it is "yet another Biden Administration move encouraging illegal immigration by rewarding illegal immigrants for breaking our laws."

They also fear that the card will include QR codes that link to court documents and other information that they say raises security concerns "as well as questions regarding the likelihood that significant taxpayer resources will be diverted from immigration enforcement to uploading documents into and maintaining a secure system."


Images show the ICE Secure Docket Card program. (Fox News)

ICE has pushed back against those concerns, with ICE telling Fox that the ID would not be an official form of federal identification and would only be used for DHS agencies

"Moving to a secure card will save the agency millions, free up resources, and ensure information is quickly accessible to DHS officials while reducing the agency’s FOIA backlog. For provisionally released noncitizens, the digital modernization will provide ongoing access to important immigration documents through the secure card and connected portal."

The program marks one of a number of efforts by the administration to tackle the ongoing crisis at the border, which has shown signs recently of escalating.

Officials have been overwhelmed at the border in recent weeks as numbers have shot up through August and September. Multiple border sectors have been overwhelmed and have resorted to street releases of migrants in Tucson and San Diego.


On Wednesday, thousands of predominantly Venezuelan migrants surged into Eagle Pass, Texas and gathered under a bridge in Eagle Pass in the hope of being processed and released into the U.S. 

Critics have blamed the crisis on the administration’s policies, including its moves to narrow enforcement priorities for ICE. The administration has said Congress needs to provide more funding and reform a "broken" immigration system.