\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual \ Appendices \ Appendix 17-1 Sample Local Office Field Examiner Guidelines (Baltimore Office).
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Sample Local Office Field Examiner Guidelines (Baltimore Office).
Sample Local Office Field Examiner Guidelines (Baltimore Office).
(HQ Editor's Note: The following is a copy of the Baltimore Office FIE guidelines, originally drafted before the development of the INS firearms policy. References within the document which conflict with the USCIS-wide policy are therefore superseded. Likewise, the terms "Immigration Examiner", Supervisory Immigration Examiner", "IE" and "SIE" have all been superseded. While the Baltimore Office has since decided to suspend it's FIE program, these guidelines may be useful to any office wishing to initiate
an FIE program.)
Baltimore Field Examiner Program
The purpose of this document is to set forth a comprehensive and coherent operating procedure for the re-introduction of the Field Immigration Examiner (FIE) Program in the Baltimore District Office. Areas of concern to be covered by this plan will include level of participation, assignment of work, officer safety, case criteria, and coordination with other programs within the district.
The Field Examiner Program will operate out of the Special Operations Unit of the Examinations Program. During the initial six months of the program, the FIE will be directly supervised and monitored by the ADDE. After this period, supervision of the program will be transferred to one of the two SIEs. The work of the unit will be coordinated by one of the Senior Examiners on a rotating basis. They will specifically be responsible for scheduling field reviews and making sure that the preliminary processing
is conducted properly.
Assignment to FIE duties will be limited to Immigration Examiners who are at the GS-9 level or above.
Examiners will be assigned on a rotational basis for 90 day periods.
All examiners assigned to this activity will be required to qualify with a firearm and to complete the training outlined below.
Participation in field activities that are conducted outside of the office will be on a voluntary basis. However, examiners who do not wish to conduct field reviews will still be responsible for other duties such as interviewing and conducting telephonic and computer checks, when they are assigned to the Special Operations Unit.
Because of the nature of this type of assignment, it is acknowledged that field reviews, especially residence checks, are most productive when conducted after normal business hours. Whenever an officer assigned to the FIE Program is authorized to conduct reviews during other than his or her regular tour of duty, some type of compensation, either overtime (if available) or compensatory time, will be provided.
AUO will not be authorized for FIE work unless and until such authorization is endorsed by Headquarters.
Consideration will also be given to changing the shifts of examiners participating in the FIE Program to ensure that they are on duty during the hours that are most conducive to field examination activity.
Examiners will always work in pairs when conducting residence checks and any other activity after dark. In both of these instances, officers will be armed and will carry a portable radio or a cellular telephone. [HQ Editor's
Note: Reference to firearms has been superseded
The Senior Examiner coordinating the Field Review will be responsible for having the Investigations Program conduct NCIC checks of all parties involved (i.e., the applicant/beneficiary and/or petitioner) to ascertain whether any has a prior criminal record and/or any active wants or warrants pending. These checks are to be conducted and reviewed before the review team is sent into the field. If any party has been arrested for a serious crime or currently has an active warrant (other than a warrant for traff
ic violations), the case will be referred to the ADDE or an SIE for a final determination as to whether a residence check will be conducted.
[ Note: The Investigations Program has agreed to conduct NCIC checks in support of the Field Examiner Program and to notify the Senior Examiner as to whether they have an active case pending on any party or know of an active investigation on a party by any other local, state, or federal law enforcement entity. If such investigation is pending, the ADDI or his designate will contact the ADDE and advise as to whether or not the field review should take place ].
Examiners must bear in mind at all times that the primary and exclusive reason for conducting field reviews is to verify facts attested to on an application or petition. Should an examiner become aware of a violation of any law, including immigration violations, she/he will immediately report that violation to the proper authorities. At no time is an examiner to make an arrest for such a violation.
Training will be conducted at the following four levels:
Local training conducted by the IEs and SrIEs who have attended formal FIE training at the Service Academy in Artesia, NM.
Local Training provided by the Investigations Program
Practical field experience; examiners who have completed the first two levels of training will be paired with a Special Agent for three days.
Formal FIE Training at the Service Academy
All examiners must receive at least the first three levels of training to be eligible to conduct field reviews.
Other applicable training courses, such as training in
and other investigative techniques will be provided as funds and training opportunities become available.
Referral of Cases to the FIE Program
If, after having conducted an interview and/or review of a particular case, an examiner determines that a field review is necessary, he/she will complete Part I of the
Field Examiner Assignment and Report
form and submit it to the appropriate Supervisory Immigration Examiner
for consideration. The report must contain a full justification for making the recommendation. The supervisor will review the justification provided and either accept or reject the case for field review. If a case is rejected, reasons for the rejection will be noted in Part II of the referral form. The case will then be returned to the referring examiner with detailed suggestions as to how to proceed with the adjudication of the case.
If the referral is approved, it will be sent to the Special Operations Unit, where it will assigned by the ADDE utilizing Part III of the referral form. Each case will initially be assigned with a thirty (30) day due date. Extensions of this date may be granted by a supervisor for good cause. Such extensions must be noted in the appropriate space provided on the referral form.
When an examiner completes a case, she/he will complete Part IV of the form documenting all of the steps taken in the field review. It is to contain a detailed account of the results of the field inquiry. This report, after review by the Senior Examiner assigned to the Special Operations Unit, will be forwarded with the case file to the ADDE or SIE for review, and completion of the final section of the review form. A copy of the completed form will be provided to the Senior Examiner or the Co-op student for
collection of statistical data.
If the field review sustains the approval of the case, the file will be returned to the officer who initiated the field review for approval. If the review indicates that the case should be denied, the case file will be referred to the Decision Unit for final action. A copy of the referral form will be sent to the examiner who initiated the field review.
Types of Cases To Be Assigned
There will be no limitation as to the type of application or petition which may be referred for a field review.
Cases involving known criminal aliens, suspected organized marriage, document, or other fraud, or other criminal activities are not appropriate for field reviews. These cases should be referred to the Investigations Program through the ADDE.
If an administrative field review case develops into a criminal case, the field examiner is to stop the review and consult the ADDE or SIE [ who will normally refer the matter to the Investigations Program ].
The procurement of additional equipment to support the FIE program is entirely dependent on the resources allocated by Headquarters. Equipment needed at the present time includes binoculars, portable radios, cellular telephones, notebook computers, and if possible, motor vehicles (particularly low profile sedans).
Until this additional equipment is obtained, we will use our existing vehicles (vans) and portable radios.
Appendix 17-1 Foot Notes
Appendix 17-1 FN 1
GS-9 Examiners assigned to field reviews will only go out on residence checks when accompanied by a journeyman or senior examiner
Appendix 17-1 FN 2
Examiners who have completed all of the required training, except the formal FIE course in Artesia, may be assigned to the FIE Program at the discretion of the ADDE.
Appendix 17-1 FN 3
A formal syllabus for this training is being developed and will be provided
Appendix 17-1 FN 4
Availability of this training is subject to funding and class room space in Artesia
Appendix 17-1 FN 5
Cases involving Naturalization or TPS/DED will be referred to the SIE assigned to the Naturalization Program. Cases involving Adjustment of Status, EAD issuance, or the Marriage Fraud Amendment will be referred to the SIE assigned to the Adjustment Program.