New migrant identification card in the US: what we know

(CNN Spanish) — The administration of President Joe Biden is preparing a new identification card for immigrants known as the “Secure File Card” in response to the large number of migrants arriving at the US southern border, national security officials said.

This is what we know so far regarding this card.

What is the “Secure File Card”?

The ICE Secure Docket Card (SDC) It will allow the identification of migrants that serves as a single window to access immigration files, in addition to facilitating accountability in the immigration process.

This card has details of the person and a QR code that will lead to a portal where the relevant information of the holder can be consulted. In this portal, people will be able to update their information and communicate with federal authorities while they go through the migration process.

What data will this card have?

So far we know that it can be compared to a photo ID, in addition to that it will include the name and nationality of the person, according to information from the authorities.

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Because it is important?

Due to the increase in migrants at the border who arrive in the United States seeking asylum, many of them usually remain undocumented when they stay in the country, for example, waiting for their cases to be resolved in court.

According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonpartisan think tank, millions of undocumented migrants live in the United States and do not have access to an official document, whether it is a passport or birth certificate, making it difficult for them to go regarding their daily lives.

Without an official document that identifies them, says the CAP, many of the migrants and their families cannot carry out daily activities such as opening bank accounts, obtaining health care, enrolling their children in schools or even borrowing a book in library.

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But with this document, the government hopes to identify them, making it easier to access housing, health, transportation and other benefits, according to Axios.

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Who would this card be given to?

The card will be given to migrants who are undocumented when they arrive in the United States and also to those who are enrolled in “alternatives to detention” or ATD, according to a Department of Homeland Security official.

An increasing number of people are estimated to have been placed in ATD following a change in detention and the arrival of more nationalities that cannot be turned away under a Trump-era pandemic emergency rule.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is monitoring more than 300,000 migrants in ATD, which can include GPS-enabled ankle monitors, phones or an app known as SmartLINK, according to the official.

What is the purpose of the government this card?

The initiative is part of an effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to streamline immigration processes that have often led to confusion among immigrants facing deportation.

This ID card is eventually expected to be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration for travel at airports across the country, according to two Homeland Security officials.

This card might be used as identification, but it is not valid as a voting document, since only US citizens can vote.

When will this card be operational?

ICE plans to test the card by the end of the year, a Homeland Security official said.

— With information from Priscilla Alvarez of CNN.

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