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Tomi Lahren – ICE proposes ID cards for immigrants at border, but not for access to benefits

Tomi Lahren – ICE proposes ID cards for immigrants at border, but not for access to benefits

Reports of a new proposal from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide an identification card for certain immigrants entering the U.S. illegally has prompted criticism from Republican lawmakers and social media users. 

President Joe Biden “wants to give illegals ID cards so they can start collecting American benefits,” conservative commentator Tomi Lahren said July 25 on Twitter. “Boy, I wonder if that could possibly lead to voter fraud.”

Her comment was reshared in a Facebook post that was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We looked into the proposed ID cards and found no evidence that these are intended for immigrants to access benefits or that they could lead to voter fraud. 

Lahren’s team did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment. 

ICE proposes new ID cards for some immigrants in the U.S. illegally

A pilot program being developed by ICE would provide Secure Docket Cards as forms of ID to some immigrants entering the U.S. illegally after undergoing a national security background check, according to an ICE spokesperson.

Immigrants seeking asylum or apprehended at U.S. borders are detained or released into the U.S. while they await for their cases to be processed. The Department of Homeland Security provides them with a notice to appear, a charging document that explains why the U.S. government seeks to deport them.

This notice and other documents are provided on paper, which can be easily lost and is susceptible to damage, according to a statement from ICE. The card would give DHS and recipients access immigration information digitally.

A July 1 report from the House Appropriations Committee said $10 million had been allocated for the Secure Docket program, aiming to make DHS more efficient. 

Will the ID cards provide benefits to immigrants?

Although the program’s specifics are under development, according to an ICE statement, there is no evidence that the Secure Docket Card is being created to allow immigrants in the U.S. illegally to access benefits. 

Immigrants in the U.S. illegally are ineligible for almost all federal benefits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Immigration Forum. 

Immigrants might be eligible for certain benefits, such as some health care and nutrition programs, if those benefits are deemed necessary to protect life or guarantee safety in dire situations.

Only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections

Immigrants who are illegally in the U.S. cannot vote in federal elections. Under federal law, U.S. citizenship is required to participate in a national election. States can check databases to verify a voter’s citizenship status.

Anyone who violates this law can be deported, fined or incarcerated.

The number of cases of noncitizens voting in federal elections is “minuscule,” Rutgers University professor Lorraine Minnite previously told PolitiFact. She said, in these cases, noncitizens are accidentally registered to vote when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia currently provide driver’s licenses to immigrants in the U.S. illegally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

ICE said the secure card is not an official form of federal identification.

A few municipalities across the nation have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections, such as for school board members or city council.

Our ruling

Lahren claimed that “Biden wants to give illegals ID cards so they can start collecting American benefits.”

ICE is developing a Secure Docket Card program, which would grant ID cards to people to track and access information related to their immigration case.

There is no evidence that the cards are being created to provide immigrants with benefits or to facilitate voter fraud. 

Under federal laws, immigrants in the U.S. illegally are ineligible for most federal benefits, and only U.S. citizens can vote in national elections. If noncitizens vote fraudulently, they can be fined, incarcerated and deported.

We rate this claim False.

Source: PolitiFact.

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