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Canadian Border Boat Landing Program
[62 FR 47749] [FR 49-97]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
62 FR 47749
September 11, 1997
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Part 235
[INS No. 1796-96]
Canadian Border Boat Landing Program
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
This rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) regulations to clarify and standardize procedures for the application, issuance, and use of Form I-68, Canadian Border Boat Landing Card. This rule promotes uniformity and clarity in the application requirements, decision-making process, and issuance of entry documents, while enhancing effective and efficient border enforcement within the Canadian Border Boat Landing (I-68) program.
: This rule is effective September 11, 1997.
: Written comments must be received on or before
November 10, 1997.
Please submit written comments, in triplicate, to the
Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 5307, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference INS No. 1796-96 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection at this location by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ronald J. Hays, Assistant Chief
Inspector, Inspections Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4060, Washington, DC 20536, Telephone (202) 514-0912.
The Service regulations at 8 CFR 235.1(a) require that in general an application for entry to the United States must be made in person to an immigration officer at a U.S. Port-of-Entry (POE) at a time when the port is open for inspection. However, 8 CFR 235.1(e) provides an exception to this requirement by providing for participation in the Canadian Border Boat Landing Permit (I-68) program which allows certain persons who enter the United States by small boat to be inspected once per year, and thereafte
r enter from time to time for recreational purposes without further inspection. Boaters who choose not to obtain Form I-68 must report in person for inspection at a POE upon each entry to the United States. This is often difficult, since the Service lacks sufficient resources to station inspectors along all waterways. Therefore, boaters who have not obtained Form I-68 may report in person to Inspectors of the United States Customs Service, who are cross-designated to perform immigration inspections. Insp
ection by a Customs officer will satisfy
the Service requirement of reporting in person for immigration inspection. However, telephonic inspections, allowed by Customs Service regulations to satisfy their reporting requirement, are not authorized by Service regulations.
Although United States citizens are not generally subject to the immigration laws, the regulations at 8 CFR 235.1(b) require that any person claiming to be a United States citizen must establish that fact to an immigration officer. United States citizens who enter the United States without Form I-68 or without reporting in person for inspection may be subject to fines or criminal sanctions. There is also the potential for some inconvenience to the United States citizen boater not in possession of Form I-6
8 to demonstrate United States citizenship when encountered by a Service officer. United States citizen boaters who transport aliens not in possession of Form I-68, and who do not report in person for inspection are subject to arrest, fine, imprisonment, and possible seizure of the boat. Non-United States citizens traveling by boat who do not have Form I-68, or who have not presented themselves for inspection, are subject to arrest and possible fine or deportation.
The I-68 program was established in 1963 to facilitate boating and fishing on boundary waters in Minnesota. It was expanded to other areas in 1967. The program was not implemented nationally until several years ago, when Service districts along the northern border began a publicity campaign to educate boaters as to the proper requirements for entry into the United States by boat and the benefits of participation in the program. Most Service districts make Form I-68 permits easily available by sending inspe
ctors to marinas and boat shows and involving boating organizations in the process. Until October 9, 1995, the Form I-68 was issued without charge.
By a final rule published in the
on August 7,
1995, at 60 FR 40064-9, the Service established a fee for applying to participate in the I-68 program. Effective October 9, 1995, a fee of $ 16.00 per individual with a family cap of $ 32.00 was established. A family was described in that rule as a husband, wife, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and the parents of either husband or wife residing at the same address. Under the Federal User Fee Statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701, and the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-25, User Charges, reasonable c
harges should be imposed to recover the full cost to the Federal Government of rendering certain services that provide a specific benefit to the recipient of those services.
During the past several years, members of the boating community and members of Congress have expressed concern regarding the I-68 program. Specifically, they were concerned that the enrollment and enforcement criteria and procedures vary from district office-to-district office and that the permit is sometimes difficult to obtain. The imposition of a fee for the permit has also sparked concern.
In an effort to improve the I-68 program, the Service met with members of the boating community, other Federal inspection and enforcement agencies, congressional staffers, and representatives of the Canadian Government in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 13, 1996. Numerous suggestions for improving the program were received and have been incorporated into this interim regulation. The following is a discussion of those concerns and the Service's response.
One of the concerns the Service received relates to the geographical limitations on travel by those permit holders who are not United States citizens or permanent residents. The current regulation allows for visits for pleasure which do not involve travel beyond the immediate shoreline area to include nearby neighborhoods and shopping centers. This lack of specificity in the regulation has led to varying enforcement of the program. The Service has determined to eliminate this problem by specifying the area
within which permit holders may travel. The Service currently has a program on the southern border, similar in some respects to the I-68 program, which allows Mexican citizens who are in possession of a Mexican Border Crossing Card to enter the United States for brief visits for pleasure which do not exceed 72 hours in duration or travel more than 25 miles from the border. Since these programs are comparable, the Service has determined that it is equitable to afford I-68 program participants a similar pri
vilege of travel as is accorded to Mexican visitors in possession of a Mexican Border Crossing Card. In addition, as two large bodies of water along the border, Puget Sound and Lake Michigan, lie almost wholly within the United States, the Service will also permit travel by program participants within 25 miles of the shoreline area of these bodies of water as well.