\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 24 Legalization. \ 24.3 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) and Replacement Agricultural Worker (RAW) Programs.
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24.3 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) and Replacement Agricultural Worker (RAW) Programs.
The SAW Program
The Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) provisions are contained in
of the Act. This section of law provided a means for certain agricultural workers to attain temporary residence then later automatic adjustment to permanent residence.
Special offices were established within INS for the acceptance, review, and adjudication of applications under the Legalization and SAW programs. There were two types of offices established. The first office was the Legalization Office located within a district and under the supervision of the District Director. The second office, called the Regional Processing Facility (RPF), was located within a Service Center, and under the jurisdiction of the Regional Commissioner. It was within this regional facility w
here the final decision, in most cases, to grant or deny temporary resident status was made. In the latter part of 1991 most of the legalization offices were closed and the workload was transferred to the district offices. The Regional Processing Facilities were combined with the Service Centers and no longer functioned as separate entities. The Service Centers were placed under the direct supervision of the Office of Service Center Operations in INS Headquarters. The final authority for the granting of Tem
porary Residence under
of the Act lies with the Service Center Director.
Definitions of SAW groups
: The applicant must have been employed in a qualifying agricultural occupation in the United States for
90 man-days in the aggregate
(this means that the 90 days did not have to be consecutive and only one hour of work per day was required to equal a man-day) in each of the 12 month periods ending on May 1, 1984, 1985, and 1986. The applicant must also have resided in the United States for six months, in the aggregate, in each of those 12 month periods.
:The applicant must have been employed in the United States for 90 man-days in the aggregate, in qualifying agricultural employment, during the 12 month period ending May 1, 1986. There is no United States residence requirement for SAW Group II.
There was a numerical limit of 350,000 placed on SAW Group I admissions. However, there was no limitation placed on SAW Group II admissions, and any SAW Group I applicants in excess of the limitation of 350,000 were granted SAW Group II status.
Filing of the Application
The proper application to file to request classification as either a Group I or Group II SAW was the Form I-700. The complete application contained Form I-700, Form I-693 (Medical Examination), Form FD-258 (Fingerprint Cards (2)), proof of identity, and evidence of eligibility. The forms could be filed with a Qualified Designated Entity (QDE) (an organization approved by the Attorney General to accept and process legalization applications. Authority for QDEs to accept applications expired at the end of the
prescribed application filing period.), a designated Port of Entry or an Overseas Processing Office. A 90 million series A-file was created for each applicant.
The filing period for SAW applications was from June 1, 1987 through November 30, 1988.
Initial Review of the Application
The Form I-700 was an application for temporary residence. The evidence supplied with the application was first reviewed by an officer in the District Office. The alien must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was eligible for temporary residence. The evidence must be verifiable. Proof of identity must be furnished. And if assumed names have been used by the alien, then proof of common identity must be furnished. Proof of the qualifying residence periods must be furnished by SAW Group I
applicants only. Proof of qualifying periods of employment must be furnished by all applicants.
An Adjudicator within the District Office will make a preliminary decision to grant or to deny the application. Form I-696 will be completed, to document the officer's recommendation, and placed in the A-file. If the initial decision is to grant the application, an Employment Authorization Document, Form I-688A, is issued to the alien. At this time the Temporary Resident Alien Card, Form I-688, is created and placed in the "A" file. If the initial decision is to deny the application on statutory grounds tha
t do not allow for a waiver, no employment is authorized. The file is then transferred to the Service Center having jurisdiction over the area where the alien resides.
When the application for temporary residence was granted, a letter was sent from the RPF requesting the alien to report to a local office to receive the Form I-688, Temporary Resident Alien Card. The I-688 indicated that temporary residence was granted under
of the Act.
Permanent residence was granted to SAWs by statute. All SAWs Group I became legal permanent residents on December 1, 1989. All SAWs Group II became legal permanent residents on December 2, 1990. Both groups were required to file Form I-90A to receive their alien registration cards, Form I-551.
The exclusion grounds that were not applicable to SAWs are paragraphs (5) (requirement for labor certification) and (7)(A) (immigrant visa requirement) of
of the Act. Applicants who were not admissible to the United States for other grounds could file Form I-690,
Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability
, for all grounds contained in
of the Act, except for those offenses defined in paragraphs (2)(A) and (2)(B) (relating to criminals); paragraph (4) (relating to aliens likely to become public charges); paragraph (2)(C) (relating to drug offenses, except for a single offense of simple possession of marijuana, 30 grams or less); and paragraph (3) (security related grounds, except for subparagraph (3)). A felony conviction or conviction of three or more misdemeanors made the applicant ineligible for temporary residence.
A final denial may be issued by the District Director in an admitted fraud case or where the applicant did not meet statutory requirements. The denial is issued on Form I-292 stating the reasons for the denial and informing the applicant of appeal rights. Should the District Director not wish to make the final decision, with a recommendation of denial, the case could be referred to the Service Center Director having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant. The denials issued by a Service Center Dir
ector are issued on Form I-692 setting forth the specific reasons for the denial and informing the applicant of appeal rights. When the denial is issued the applicant should be sent three copies of Form I-694,
Notice of Appeal of Decision Under Section 210 or 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act
. If the decision of the District Director or the Service Center Director is appealed, the appeal must be filed with the Director who denied the application within 30 days of receipt of the written denial. After receipt of the fee, the appeal is forwarded to the Administrative Appeals Office. Untimely appeals are accepted as motions to reopen and either granted on the basis of additional evidence submitted or forwarded to the Administrative Appeals Office.
The Replacement Agricultural Worker Program
of the Act, the Replenishment Agricultural Worker (RAW) program, was added by the 1986 IRCA. According to
of the Act, the RAW program was to be effective from FY90 through the end of FY93. The program was enacted as a means of providing additional seasonal agricultural workers to U.S. agricultural employers to alleviate possible shortages of workers for perishable crops. The program allowed the government to replenish the supply of farmworkers by providing foreign workers with legal resident status if the Secretaries of Agriculture and Labor determined that a shortage of such workers existed. In the three year
s during which the program was in place, however, a shortage of agricultural workers was never found to exist. Therefore, no immigration benefits were ever granted through the RAW program. As Congress gave no indication that it would extend the RAW program beyond the statutory expiration date, INS removed the regulations implementing the RAW program on May 10, 1994.
INS, USCIS and DHS may not use or disclose information in a legalization application or its accompanying evidence except to adjudicate the application itself, or for certain law enforcement functions and fraud proceedings. If the legalization application is granted, however, and the alien later files an immigrant visa petition or other status petition under
of the Act, INS or USCIS may use information in the legalization file in adjudicating the immigrant visa petition. This also applies to adjudicating a later naturalization application. Consult with district counsel when contemplating any use or disclosure of this information.
Matter of Juarez
, 20 I&N Dec. 340 (BIA 1991)
. The lawful temporary resident SAW who subsequently commits a deportable offense is not required to be terminated as a temporary resident as a condition precedent to the commencement of deportation proceedings.