\ fr \ Federal Register Publications (CIS, ICE, CBP) \ Federal Register Publications (Legacy INS) - 1997 \ FEDERAL REGISTER INTERIM REGULATIONS - 1997 \ Inspection and Expedited Removal of Aliens; Detention and Removal of Aliens; Conduct of Removal Proceedings; Asylum Procedures [62 FR 10312] [FR 10-97]
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Inspection and Expedited Removal of Aliens; Detention and Removal of Aliens; Conduct of Removal Proceedings; Asylum Procedures [62 FR 10312] [FR 10-97]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
62 FR 10312
DATE PUBLISHED: March 6, 1997
BILLING CODE: 4410-10
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service and
Executive Office for Immigration Review
8 CFR Parts 1, 3, 103, 204, 207, 208, 209, 211, 212, 213, 214,
216, 217, 221, 223, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240,
241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 274a, 286,
287, 299, 316, 318, and 329
[INS No. 1788-96; AG ORDER No. 2071-97]
Inspection and Expedited Removal of Aliens;
Detention and Removal of Aliens; Conduct of
Removal Proceedings; Asylum Procedures
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice, and Executive Office for Immigration Review, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
This interim rule amends the regulations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to implement the provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) governing expedited and regular removal proceedings, handling of asylum claims, and other activities involving the apprehension, detention, hearing of claims and ultimately the removal of inadmissible and deportable aliens. This rule incorporates
a number of changes which are a part of the Administration's reinvention and regulation streamlining initiative.
This interim rule is effective April 1, 1997.
Written comments must be submitted on or before [Insert date 120 days from date of publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER].
Please submit written comments, in triplicate, to the Director, 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 number 1788-96 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection at the above address by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For matters relating to the Executive Office for Immigration Review - Peggy Philbin, General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2400, Falls Church, VA 22041, telephone number (703) 305-0470; for asylum issues - Michael Shaul, Field Manual Project Office, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW, ULLB- 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20536, telephone number (202) 616-7439; for inspections issues - Linda Loveless, Office of Inspections, Immigration and Natur
alization Service, 425 I Street NW, Room 4064, Washington, DC 20536, telephone number (202) 616-7489; for detention and removal issues - Len Loveless, Office of Detention and Deportation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW, Room 3008, Washington, DC 20536, telephone number (202) 616-7799.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Executive Office for Immigration Review jointly published a proposed rule on January 3, 1997 (62 FR 443-517 (1997)), to implement sections of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-208, which was enacted on September 30, 1996. This legislation significantly amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) by revising the asylum process and providing a mechanism for the determination and review of certain appli
cants who demonstrate a credible fear of persecution if returned to their own country; expanding the grounds of inadmissibility; redefining applicants for admission to include aliens who entered the United States without inspection; creating new expedited removal procedures for aliens attempting to enter the United States through fraud or misrepresentation or without proper documents; consolidating the former exclusion and deportation proceedings into one unified removal proceeding; and reorganizing and ren
umbering numerous provisions of existing law.
The effective date of most of the provisions affecting asylum, inspection, and removal processes is April 1, 1997, and implementing regulations must be in place by March 1, 1997. The proposed rule allowed only a 30-day comment period. The limited comment period was necessary, given the short statutory deadline and the time needed to draft the rule, coordinate with interested agencies, and complete the regulatory review process by the Office of Management and Budget. In order to meet the statutory deadlin
e for an implementing regulation and yet provide adequate opportunity for public input on the issues addressed in this rulemaking, this rule is being published as an interim rule with an additional 120-day comment period.
The Department received 124 comments on the proposed rule. Most of the commenters represented either attorney organizations or voluntary organizations predominantly involved with refugees and asylum claimants. Commenters addressed a variety of topics, with much of the focus on asylum, expedited removal, and voluntary departure. The Department also received comments from individual members of Congress and Congressional subcommittees. Since many of the comments were duplicative or endorsed the submissions
of other commenters, they will be addressed by topic, rather than referencing each specific comment and commenter. Also, because many of the comments were complex and dealt with issues that may be better addressed after the Department has had a period of time to gain operational experience under the new law, suggestions that were not adopted for the interim period will be further considered when a final rule is prepared. A number of comments were received concerning sections of the regulations that were n
ot specifically changed by the proposed rule, but were simply moved to new sections. The Department has not addressed these comments at this time, but will consider them either as part of separate rulemaking initiatives or as part of the final rule rather than the interim rule, after the Service and EOIR more closely study the proposals. This supplementary information will identify significant changes made to the proposed rule and briefly discuss reasons why many other major suggestions were not adopted a
t this time.
Although the Department has addressed the major comments received, there will be further detailed analysis of these comments, as well as consideration of the additional comments received during the 120-day comment period following publication of the interim regulation. This will ensure every suggestion is more fully explored. Commenters responding to the interim rule may choose to amend or expand on prior comments or address other areas not raised by commenters during the first comment period.
Several sections of the statute, such as sections 212(a)(9), 240B, and 241 of the Act, refer to arriving aliens, even though this term is not defined in statute. After carefully considering these references, the Department felt that the statute seemed to differentiate more clearly between aliens at ports-of-entry and those encountered elsewhere in the United States. For clarity, "arriving alien" was specifically defined in 8 CFR part 1, and the Department invited commentary on the proper scope of the regu
One commenter suggested that aliens interdicted in United States waters should not be included in the definition because persons arriving in United States waters have already legally arrived in the United States. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has consistently held that the mere crossing into the territorial waters of the United States has never satisfied the test of having entered the United States. See
Matter of G
, 20 I&N Dec. 764 (BIA 1993). Aliens who have not yet established physical presence on land in the United States cannot be considered as anything other than arriving aliens. In addition, the Department has for years relied on interdiction efforts to stem the flow of inadmissible aliens and attempted illegal entries by sea. The inclusion of aliens interdicted at sea in the definition of arriving alien will support the Department's mandate to protect the nation's borders against illegal immigration. These
provisions in no way alter the Department's current interdiction policy and should not be construed as to require that all interdicted aliens be brought to the United States. Only when an express decision is made, in accordance with existing interdiction policies, to transport an interdicted alien to the United States, will that alien be considered an arriving alien for purposes of the Act.
Another commenter suggested that the definition be expanded to include aliens who have been present for less than 24 hours in the United States without inspection and admission. The Department extensively considered this and similar options, such as a distance-based distinction. For the reasons discussed below relating to the decision not to apply the expedited removal provisions at this time to certain aliens who entered without inspection, and considering the difficulty not only in establishing that the
alien entered without inspection, but also in determining the exact time of the alien's arrival, the Department continues to believe the position taken in the proposed rule is correct and will not modify this definition in the interim rule. The definition of "arriving alien" will be given further consideration in the final rule, however, drawing upon the experience of the early implementation of the interim rule.
One commenter objected to the inclusion of parolee in the definition of arriving alien. The definition in the proposed rule states "An arriving alien remains such even if paroled pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Act." The inclusion of paroled aliens was based on the statutory language in section 212(d)(5) of the Act, which states ". . . but such parole of such alien shall not be regarded as an admission of the alien and when the purposes of such parole shall, in the opinion of the Attorney General, ha
ve been served the alien shall forthwith return or be returned to the custody from which he or she was paroled and thereafter his case shall continue to be dealt with in the same manner as that of any other applicant for admission to the United States." Existing regulations at § 212.5(d) relating to termination of parole echo this provision, stating ". . . he or she shall be restored to the status he or she had at the time of parole." The Department feels there is solid statutory basis for inclusion of ce
rtain paroled aliens in the definition of arriving alien, and so will retain this provision.
The Department has added two additional definitions for the sake of clarity. The term "Service counsel" has been added to clarify that although the term refers to any immigration officer designated to represent the Service before the Immigration Court or the BIA. Existing regulations interchangeably use this term and a variety of other terms, including trial attorney, district counsel and assistant district counsel. The term "aggravated felony" has also been defined by reference to section 101(a)(43) of
the Act as amended by IIRIRA. The regulatory definition clarifies that the amended section 101(a)(43) applies to any proceeding, application, custody determination or adjudication.