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First on Fox: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are concerned about the security and cost implications of a plan being developed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that would issue ID cards to illegal immigrants as part of plans to modernize paperwork.

“We are concerned that this pilot program is another move by the Biden administration to encourage illegal immigration by rewarding illegal immigrants for breaking our laws,” the 16 Republicans, led by Representative James Comer, said in a letter to Acting ICE Director Tay Johnson.

ICE confirmed this week that the program, called the ICE Secure Docket Card Program, is part of a pilot program that will “modernize the various forms of documentation provided to temporarily released non-citizens through a stable, verifiable, secure card.”

The new ID card will include a photograph, biographic identifiers and what ICE calls “sophisticated security features for the mutual benefit of the government and non-citizens.”

Because of the border crisis, Ice is developing a program to provide ID cards to illegal immigrants

Immigrants released in the US are given an ID as their asylum cases are heard by the immigration system — a process that can take up to five years. Currently, they are released in many different forms.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.
(Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)

“The specifics of the program are still in development, but SDC’s primary goal is to improve current, inconsistent paper forms that often degrade rapidly in real-world use,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Pending the outcome of the pilot, ICE will consider further expansion.”

ICE believes the card allows officials in the field to easily verify the identity of illegal immigrants and whether they are deportable. An immigrant can use the card to check in with ICE offices and schedule reporting dates, as well as hearing dates for immigration court.

In the letterObtained by Fox News Digital, lawmakers said the program was “intended to allow illegal aliens to check in virtually with ICE instead of physically reporting to an ICE office” and noted that many illegal immigrants fail to check in as required. Alternatives to Detention Program (ATD).

House unveils ambitious blueprint to secure border if GOP takes majority

“The failure of the ATD program to ensure reporting of illegal immigrants to ICE is not a reason to issue identification cards to them in the hope that the statistics will improve, but rather an indication that more of these illegal border crossers should be detained pending removal proceedings,” they write. .

Lawmakers also expressed concern about the card’s QR codes linking to court documents and other information raising security concerns “as well as questions about the potential to divert significant taxpayer resources from immigration enforcement to uploading documents and maintaining a secure system.”

“Finally, the issuance of ID cards allows illegal aliens to use these identification cards to improperly obtain benefits such as housing, health care, and transportation,” they write.

Lawmakers request all communications on the program and documents related to cost estimates for implementation and maintenance.

Republicans are demanding answers on several Biden-era immigration policies and moves — including the recent firing of Trump-appointed immigration judges at the Justice Department.

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On Friday, the House Republican Conference unveiled a sweeping policy framework to secure the border and close asylum loopholes that they say have encouraged hundreds of thousands of migrants to travel to the border.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has sought to address the “root causes” of the crisis, such as poverty and violence in Central America — while also claiming the southern border is “secure.”