\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Appendices \ Appendix 4-12 Center Adjudications Officer GS-1801-12 PD# HI012F (Grade Twelve).
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Center Adjudications Officer GS-1801-12 PD# HI012F
Center Adjudications Officer GS-1801-12 PD# HI012F
This position has direct delegated authority of the U.S. Attorney General to interpret apply, and enforce an intricate field of immigration and nationality law The incumbent is directly responsible for conducting investigations of and making final determinations regarding complex applications and petitions for various benefits and related entitlements. Incumbent works closely with other Officer Corps functions of the Service to ensure compliance with, and enforcement of, the Immigration and Nationality Act
, as amended.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Adjudication Functions (80%)
The incumbent develops and interprets an intricate field of immigration and nationality law. Develops an expertise in foreign and domestic religious and customary laws; foreign customs, tribal traditions; and domestic (federal and state laws concerning adoption, legitimation, marriage, divorce, citizenship, and especially, legislative Zeitgeist spanning years and various political environments. Ongoing changes to immigration and nationality laws, conflicts between the Administration and sessions of Congre
ss, and special interests, require the incumbent to make decisions based on often vague legislation which dictates extensive Interpretation, judgment. and legal research.
Adjudicates difficult, convoluted and/or sensitive cases; often these are discretionary, precedent setting, have high visibility; and are of great importance to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice, and the Administration. The incumbent performs legal and other research, conducts inspections, investigations, analyses, and renders final adjudication of applications and petitions. Incumbent has authority to prepare and present Notices to Appear, revoke parole status, and by issu
ance of subpoenas, compel the production of documents. Decides when a verbatim record is required, rules on objections, grants continuance, and receives evidence. Decisions have substantial impact on a wide range of agencies at the Federal, state, and local levels; the national and international industrial, corporate, and economic levels; and all social levels.
The incumbent grants and denies applications or petitions based on evidence presented. Takes action when fraud is suspected, i.e., initiates investigations and further action; where deportability can be established, takes action as may be appropriate to enforce compliance with INS laws and regulations and also with the laws of other Federal agencies. Prepares decisions involving novel and/or unprecedented issues for certification to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO} and/or the Board of Immigration App
Adjudicates appeals and decides on motions to reopen or reconsider cases. Incumbent is empowered to initiate a complete and independent re-examination of the findings of fact, documentary evidence, and case information used by the deciding official and may reverse, approve, or sustain the decision. The incumbent also has discretionary authority to receive new evidence, take additional testimony, and/or redetermine the original decision, in whole or in part. Ensures that documentary evidence and reports of
investigation used to substantiate denials are of a sufficient and adequate nature to meet the requirements for presentation in court.
Prepares briefs or a memorandum of facts for litigation on appeals. Performs final check of citations in closing briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Organizes documents and exhibits to be introduced as evidence at hearings or in the appeal process. Makes decisions and recommendations on appeals. Submits motions to be considered for pre-trial review. Appeals submitted to the AAO, BIA, or through Judicial Review require complex investigation, legal research and preparation of compli
cated legal briefs.
Plans and conducts independent Investigations concerning the eligibility and entitlement of persons seeking benefits, employment, and/or legal status under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Develops and authors comprehensive reports and gathers and protects evidence and related case material. The employee synthesizes and evaluates information from a variety of sources (aliens, foreign interests, informants, etc.) and makes independent judgments as to the validity and reliability of the information. Dete
rmines the exact information and/or evidence needed, the best approach to obtain it, and the relevance and admissibility of facts/evidence uncovered. Fact finding investigations may include search of Federal, state, and local automated data systems; alien files and other records maintained in the U.S., and records and/or documents maintained by foreign countries. To gather information, contacts are made with applicants, employers, corporate administrators, legal and accounting representatives, fiduciaries,
friends, relatives, acquaintances, educators, clergy and municipal and similar officials and individuals.
Special Projects (20%)
Performs special assignments, projects, studies or reviews to explore and resolve major problems, including those involving INS-wide Adjudications Program operations and enforcement activities; and, to develop new operational procedures and techniques which will result in more efficient and effective program operations. Special assignments may entail work involving joint agency or special INS task force operations, rotation to FINCEN (Financial Crimes, Narcotics and National Security and Intelligence), or D
uty Officer 'point of contact' for the Service Center. Projects may include review of Service Center Operations developing improvements in processes, and designing more efficient ways to utilize personnel and facilities. Studios may involve identifying workload processes having an impact on resources (human, financial, and material). Provides written recommendations on ways to improve work quality and overall productivity
Regularly receives intelligence reports and scrutinizes applications in relation to targeted profiles. Develops positive leads and, as appropriate, disseminates data to other INS and government entities. Incumbent has intrinsic exposure to raw data having substantial influence on Service Center Operations, other law enforcement agencies, and to the intelligence community, as a whole. This requires the incumbent to be vigilant of indicators identifying trends aid/or situations, i.e., political, social and e
conomic factors, both domestic and international in scope, which could have significant repercussions on the Service, the United States, and on international interests. Uses available information systems and other national and international law enforcement data bases in the investigation and adjudication of applications and enforcement of INS-related laws.
Draws upon a wide range of available data to derive conclusions on applications. Analyzes and develops profiles for eligibility determinations, develops and projects data, draws conclusions, and estimates probabilities based on the facts available. Reconstructs events, and establishes relationships (often of a complex derivative nature) utilizing fragmentary information or evidence spanning a substantial time period which meets the requirements for presentation in administrative hearings and judicial court
Keeps abreast of current policies, regulations and procedures, proposed legislation, changes in law, court decisions, special intelligence, and technological changes, directly impacting Service Center Operations. Interprets and submits information and maintains a professional working relationship with various social service organizations, special interest attorneys, foreign consulates, and the U.S. Departments of State, Labor, Commerce, Agriculture, and Education. Resolves or prevents problems involving th
e interpretation, enforcement, or entitlement provisions of the Act.
Performs other duties as assigned.
FACTOR 1. KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION, Level 1-7, 1250 points
A comprehensive and authoritative knowledge and understanding of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and all related rules, regulations, policies, and operating procedures, impacting court decisions, related foreign Laws customs, and tribal traditions, and binding state laws pertaining to.
adjudicating applications for various benefits, entitlements, and privileges available under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended;
the granting or denial of business and investor applications;
adoption, legitimation. marriage, divorce, etc., in making determination on applications;
the gathering analysis, and evaluation of raw data in order to target fraud and produce fraud profile; and
injunctive compliance or precedent court, AAO and BIA decisions governing the adjudications process.
Extensive knowledge of legal proceedings and case preparation for trial and/or the trial of cases before a court or an administrative body.
Knowledge of precedent decisions in order to render advice and services with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters relating to the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.
Knowledge of a variety of sources of information such the Library of Congress, Department of Labor jobs directories, Internal Revenue Service, State Employment Commissions, and others, and substantial experience in the use of such automated data bases as LEXIS/NEXIS, CLAIMS, CIS, NCIC, EPIC, etc., to gather information required for facilitating decisions.
Knowledge of political, social and economic factors which could have an effect on both the domestic and international labor markets, trade agreements, and corporate finances.
Knowledge of regulations/procedures and demonstrated knowledge and competence in the:
issuance of subpoenas to compel the production of documents, and notices to appear;
application of rules of evidence and criminal procedures, and administering oaths;
inspection of documents and analysis of complex records and ADP systems;
participation in specialized law enforcement operations and effective liaison with other government jurisdictions that have primary responsibility to particular kinds of cases; and
utilization of selective enforcement/intelligence profiling techniques.
Ability to administer specific laws, rules, and regulations related to Department of State, Social Security Administration, HHS, IRS, and the Selective Service.
a) perform technical research of complex financial records and business structures and gather pertinent information, documentation, and/or other evidence/material facts;
b) prepare briefs and evidentiary documents in final form for presentation in administrative or criminal proceedings; and
c) locate, identify, and evaluate other evidence for successful prosecution.
Ability to analyze and determine the validity of documents.
Ability to identify and take appropriate action in sensitive situations which are significant in scope and impact on international relations, e.g., petitions for specialized labor, petitions/applications involving multi-national corporate executives; review of national/ international financial investments, and analyses of assets belonging to complex organizational structures.
Ability to deal tactfully with and gain cooperation of aliens, special interest groups, attorneys, social service organizations etc., and various law enforcement personnel and resolve sensitive and often vitriolic contentions about facts or opinions related to the adjudication functions.
Ability to make accurate judgments and decisive, prompt decisions for facilitation purposes. Ability to detect unusual conditions or trends indicating possible violations and take appropriate action to enforce INS related laws and those related to other agencies.
distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information or evidence and developing facts/leads;
recognizing, collecting, and preserving physical evidence utilizing specialized law enforcement techniques, devices and procedures; and
carrying out specialized work assignments, task force operations, and utilizing electronic/ADP equipment.
The incumbent uses authoritative knowledge of adjudications and is skilled in the investigation of legal or illegal businesses, financial institutions, and non-profit organizations that are very complex in structure and have national and international subsidiaries and high level political or special interest concerns. Often the suspected violators are highly organized crime groups or influential foreign officials whose criminal activities are interwoven with legitimate business activities.
The incumbent must draw upon skills acquired from first-hand adjudications experience in order to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information, binding facts pertinent evidence and to develop leads necessary to achieve a successful adjudications prosecuton or final judgment. The employee must be able to determine the exact information and/or evidence needed the best approach to obtain it and the relevance, validity and admissibility of that which is found in criminal or administrative proceedings
Ability to communicate orally and in writing present briefings to management and to write legal briefs and other reports. The employee must be able to coordinate efforts with other agencies and national/international groups, etc.
NOTE: Many positions may require the ability to learn to speak and read one or more languages in addition to English. The exact language requirements differ from place to place and may constitute one element in selective placement actions to fill positions in the occupation.
FACTOR 2. SUPERVISORY CONTROLS, Level 2-4, 450 points
The supervisor gives general guidance in terms of policies and goals. The employee independently plans legal and other research, initiates investigations, develops intelligence, and adjudicates cases including any new or ancillary subjects emanating from original case work. The employee independently works out any coordinating aspects with other public and private organizations and individuals. Since the employee is considered an authority empowered to render virtually unreviewed decisions, no technical in
struction is expected to be given. The employee, supervisor,
and working peer group together settle any deadlines, quality assurance issues, and priorities.
FACTOR 3. GUIDELINES, Level 3-4, 450 points
The incumbent handles unusually complex cases involving widespread public interest and those which are vigorously contested by expert legal counsel. The guidelines are the immigration and nationality laws, CFR 8, 20, 22, 41, Field Manuals, precedent case laws, and international treaties.
The employee must research agency guidelines and available legislation, regulations, customs and related items. Incumbent may query such sources as law libraries and automated law systems (e.g., LEXIS/NEXIS) the Supreme Court Reporter, Administrative Decisions under Immigration and Nationality laws of the U.S., the Foreign Affairs Manual, Interpreter Releases, the Library of Congress, and the Federal Register.
Research of various foreign religious and customary laws, regulations and provisions is also necessary. Many pertinent and pivotal cases are unpublished or unreported. Accuracy of decisions is made extremely difficult because the guides available are usually quite unclear and often conflict and there are often no applicable precedents.
The employee is expected to independently sift through a myriad of legislation, regulation and information and embrace the correct course of action including that which could establish future precedent/case law. Since the cases are often problematical or outright dubious, interpretation and use of guidelines requires a great deal of acumen, inventiveness. and initiative, The incumbent must use authoritative knowledge and ingenuity in interpreting the intent of the guidelines that do exist and in developing
applications to specific cases.
FACTOR 4. COMPLEXITY, Level 4-5, 325 points
Case work and/or special assignments are often extremely complex, diverse, and difficult due to the lack of objective information concerning the principals and the problems of assessing conflicting and often misleading information. The employee decides on information and evidence emanating from an extensive spectrum of sources including legislation regulations, operating conditions, applications, documents and affidavits. In the employment-based product line, the adjudicator must research and solicit eviden
ce in support of their cases. There is a vast quantity of extremely differing types of cases. The incumbent writes many complex decisions: denials, motions to reopen or reconsider, certifications, approvals, and revocations based on investigations and consulate returns. The adjudicator authors complex certifications to the AAO and the BIA, with the intent of clarifying the interpretation of the immigration-related statutes and regulations enacted by Congress. Their
decisions often evolve into published, precedent-setting decisions, binding upon any further interpretation of law.
FACTOR 5. SCOPE AND EFFECT, Level 5-4, 225 points
The purpose of the work is to determine and apply legal requirements and provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and related laws in a way that can be supported and understood by others. The incumbent accomplishes this by researching, interpreting and applying the pertinent section(s) of the law and regulations to the issues. Through the application of INS law, the incumbent combats fraud and conspiracies, promotes crime detection and prevention and affects the apprehension, prosecution and expul
sion of inadmissible aliens.
The work affects current and future employment opportunities, business planning, foreign-based investments and foreign trade. The services affect a wide range of agency activities, major activities of industrial concerns and the budgets and mission effectiveness of Federal, state and local governmental organizations.
FACTOR 6. PERSONAL CONTACTS, Level 6-2, 25 points
Contacts are in moderately unstructured situations where each is different and the employee must define the purpose of the action taken. However, persons and cases are often quite conspicuous, particularly when a precedent decision is being made or the applicant or petitioner is well known (nationally or internationally) or will have substantial impact on the economy of a community, state or the nation. Contacts may be initiated by the employee, either in writing or telephonically, but face- to-face meeting
s are rare. Each situation is analyzed and the sensitivity/impact assessed.
FACTOR 7. PURPOSE OF CONTACTS, Level 7-2, 50 points
The purpose of contacts is to influence, persuade or gain voluntary compliance of or agreement with employers, attorneys, special interest groups, etc., who have conflicting interests or objectives.
Case work includes contacts geared to investigative fact finding and inspection of documents to glean necessary information to successfully support decisions. Situations are often emotionally charged due to the importance and impact of decisions. In addition to the applicants, the employee frequently attempts to convince attorneys/representatives and high level judicial officials of the merit of their decisions
FACTOR 8. PHYSICAL DEMANDS, Level 8-2, 20 points
The work is mainly sedentary however, there is a requirement for long periods a standing, walking, or lifting and carrying of moderately heavy items such as boxes of records, files, and/or evidence.
FACTOR 9. WORK ENVIRONMENT, Level 9-1, 5 points
The work is generally performed in an office environment. However, some travel an rotational assignments to other units, field support activities, and special joint operations are involved.
Total Points: 2800 GS-12