\ fr \ Federal Register Publications (CIS, ICE, CBP) \ Federal Register Publications (Legacy INS) - 1995 \ FEDERAL REGISTER INTERIM REGULATIONS - 1995 \ Collection of Fees Under the Dedicated Commuter Lane Program; Port Passenger Accelerated Service System (PORTPASS) Program [60 FR 50386][FR 56-95]
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Collection of Fees Under the Dedicated Commuter Lane Program; Port Passenger Accelerated Service System (PORTPASS) Program [60 FR 50386][FR 56-95]
FR 56 - 95
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
60 FR 50386
September 29, 1995
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
[INS No. 1675-94]
Collection of Fees Under the Dedicated Commuter Lane Program;
Port Passenger Accelerated Service
System (PORTPASS) Program
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
This interim rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) regulations: To allow for implementation of additional land border inspection fee projects designed to facilitate the entry of identified, low-risk, legitimate border crossers on the northern border; to allow for the implementation of a pilot dedicated commuter lane (DCL) to facilitate the entry of identified, low-risk, legitimate border crossers on the California-Mexico border; to incorporate into 8 CFR 235.13 those provisions
currently set forth in 8 CFR 286.8 pertaining to port designations and inspections of persons applying for admission to the United States; to increase the pool of eligible participants in pilot projects; and to clarify fee and application requirements of project participants. This rule is necessary to enhance inspection services at land border Ports-of-Entry (POEs) on the northern border and on the California-Mexico border, while still safeguarding those borders.
This interim rule is effective September 29, 1995. Written comments must be received on or before November 28, 1995.
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, Attn: Public Comment Clerk. To ensure proper handling, please reference INS No. 1675-94 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:
Robert A. Mocny, Assistant Chief Inspector, Inspections Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 7228, Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-3275.
The provisions of Public Law 101-515, dated November 5, 1990, authorized the establishment of pilot projects at land border POEs for which a fee may be charged and collected for inspection services provided at land border POEs. The implementing regulation which established pilot programs for the charging of a land border user fee for inspection services was published by the Service on May 13, 1991, at 56 FR 21917-21920. The interim rule placed all eligibility requirements, application processes, and comp
liance requirements pertaining to inspection user fees in § 286.6.
All land border pilot projects were originally scheduled to terminate on September 30, 1993. This deadline was extended to September 30, 1996, by Public Law 103-121, October 27, 1993. Public Law 103-121 also limited land border pilot projects to the northern border of the United States. On August 26, 1994, Congress passed Public Law 103-217, permitting land border pilot projects on the California-Mexico border. This interim rule, therefore, also amends Service regulations as necessary to implement a pil
ot DCL on the California-Mexico border.
In addition to adding a variety of border inspection pilot projects to selected POEs on the northern and southern land borders, this rule will move application and eligibility requirements for those persons seeking to participate in any of the pilot projects to part 235 of this chapter. By expanding and testing pilot projects on land borders, the entry of low-risk, legitimate border crossers will be facilitated and integrity of the United States land borders maintained.
Port Passenger Accelerated Service System (PORTPASS) Program
This rule seeks to expand the testing of land border inspection pilot programs, hereinafter collectively known as the Port Passenger Accelerated Service System (PORTPASS) Program. It will add a new § 235.13, in which general criteria used by the Service to establish pilot inspection programs on the northern and California-Mexico border will be set forth. PORTPASS program eligibility requirements, application procedures, and compliance requirements will be included in the new § 235.13 because these program
elements are inspection functions. The present provisions in § 286.8, relating to the collection of land border inspection pilot program fees, will be retained in the immigration user fee section only for the purposes of clarity and uniformity.
By identifying eligible, low-risk border crossers and providing a means for rapid entry of those individuals into the United States, PORTPASS will lessen the time required for all persons to cross the border at large POEs. PORTPASS will also benefit those persons who typically use the smaller, more geographically remote POEs which have limited hours of operation by designating certain POEs as Automated Permit Ports (APPs). Eligible persons who apply for, and are approved for use of, an APP may enter the
United States when the APP is not staffed.
Participation in PORTPASS, including advance screening, inspection and identification, and subsequent lawful entry through a DCL or APP by an enrolled participant, will satisfy the reporting requirement of 8 CFR 235.1(a), which states that "[a]pplication to enter the United States shall be made in person to an immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry enumerated in 8 CFR part 100 at a time when the immigration office at the port is open for inspection."
PORTPASS participants will not be permitted to import merchandise or transport controlled or restricted items through the PORTPASS program. Violation of the rules governing the PORTPASS program, or violating any immigration, customs, agricultural or other law or regulation, may result in revocation of the permit access authorization and other sanctions, including, but not limited to, criminal and/or administrative prosecution and deportation, seizure of goods and/or vehicles.
The Form I-823, entitled, "Application--Dedicated Commuter Lane Program," has been revised and retitled to, "Application--Inspections Facilitation Program." Each applicant applying for use of a Dedicated Commuter Lane as part of the PORTPASS program on the northern or California-Mexico border will be required to file the new form and submit the required application fee, currently $25. Under certain circumstances, the $25 application fee may be waived by the district director having jurisdiction over the
POE where the applicant requests access. This rule will also amend §§ 299.1 and 299.5 to reflect the change in the title of the application. In establishing the Land Border Inspection Pilot Program, Congress identified the need to counterbalance the inspection of passengers and vehicles with the need to halt the flow of illegal drugs and illegal aliens into the United States. Therefore, in addition to filing the I-823, applicants may be required to submit fingerprints in order to determine eligibility as
a low-risk border crosser. If a fingerprint check is required, the applicant will be assessed the additional processing fee.
This rule expands the pool of eligible persons who may be permitted to use the PORTPASS system. One of the stated purposes of the land border inspections pilot program is the alleviation of traffic congestion at land border POEs. Therefore, it is necessary to allow the greatest number of identified, low-risk border crossers to participate. Currently, only citizens and legal permanent residents of the United States and citizens of Canada and landed immigrants of Canada who are citizens of the commonwealth
nations are eligible applicants for the DCL project on the northern border. This rule would also make other non-immigrants as determined by the Commissioner of the Service, eligible for participation in all PORTPASS projects. Many third-country citizens and nationals are admitted to the United States for extended periods of time and may live in the United States but commute across the border to work, attend school, or conduct business. Third-country nationals who are citizens of countries other than the
commonwealth nations are admitted to Canada as permanent residents and may also require access to the United States for similar purposes. Through the application process set forth in the regulation, admissibility and suitability of an applicant for entry to the United States will readily be determined. The application process will be more thorough than that required by any person who applies for admission at a land border POE, and will include a check of computer databases.
Additionally, each applicant will be personally inspected and positively identified by an immigration officer to further determine admissibility prior to approval of his or her application. The applicant will also be required to permit random checks and inspections to be conducted by the Service at any time or location, to ensure compliance.
Currently, only the principal applicant must pay the required fee upon approval for the DCL application, although other persons may be listed on the principal's application. This rule will amend the regulation by requiring a separate application and application fee from all applicants to a PORTPASS project, including DCL programs currently operable. A family cap of $50, family defined to include husband, wife and/or children under the age of 18 years of age, will be imposed so as to not unduly burden fami
lies who often travel together across the border. Applicants under the age of 14 will be required to complete and submit the application, but will not be required to pay the application fee. Additionally, a "system costs fee" will be assessed to approved applicants who wish to participate in the system to cover the costs of additional technology. Information about the fee, including the amount, will be included in publications made available to the public prior to and/or during the application process. La
w enforcement and security concerns peculiar to the southern border of the United States, in addition to the additional documentation required of Mexican nationals by the Immigration and Nationality Act, augments the degree that specialized devices, decals, technologies, and other methods are necessary to inspect applicants for entry. The use of technology , decals, and other devices or methods used to identify and inspect persons through DCL's on the southern border increases the cost to the INS of a DCL
on that border. By charging a system costs fee for each vehicle using the DCL, the cost of operating the DCL will be fairly distributed among users of the DCL. All revenue generated by the PORTPASS program will directly support inspections on the land border, and facilitate traffic flow through designated POEs. Fees collected will cover the costs of:
(1) Hiring additional immigration inspectors, including all associated personnel costs;
(2) Expanding, operating and maintaining information systems for nonimmigrant control;
(3) Construction costs, including those associated with the addition of new primary traffic lanes (with the concurrence of the General Services Administration);
(4) Procuring detection devices and conducting training in the identification of fraudulent documents used by applicants for illegal entry into the United States;
(5) Other costs associated with the operation of the PORTPASS program; and
(6) Costs associated with the administration of the Land Border Inspection Fee Account.
The Service's implementation of this rule a an interim rule, with provision for post-promulgation public comment, is based on the "good cause" exception found at 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The reason and necessity for immediate implementation of this interim rule are as follows: Expanding the pilot program will directly benefit the traveling public by expediting their entry into the United States. In order to evaluate the effectiveness and utility of the PORTPASS project, and make a determination whether to conti
nue and/or expand such projects, data must be collected. Pilot projects are due to expire September 30, 1996. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the traveling public to expand the land border user fee pilot program as soon as possible. All pilot projects are focused on the traveling public as customers and are designed to directly benefit large populations. Proceeding with an interim regulation at this time will allow the affected agencies and the public to gain maximum benefits from the pilot pro
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because of the following factors. The rule applies to individuals, not small entities, and provides a clear benefit to participants by allowing expeditious passage through a POE. Although there is a fee charged for t
his service, participation is voluntary.
Executive Order 12866
This rule is not considered by the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, to be a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review process under section 6(a)(3)(A).
Executive Order 12612
The regulations proposed herein will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.
Executive Order 12606
The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service certifies that she has addressed this rule in light of the criteria in Executive Order 12606 and has determined that it will have no effect on family well-being.
The information collection requirement contained in this rule has been cleared by the Office of Management and Budget under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The clearance number for this collection is contained in 8 CFR 299.5, Display of control numbers.
List of Subjects
8 CFR Part 103
Administrative practice and procedures, Aliens, Authority delegations (Government agencies), Freedom of Information, Privacy Act, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
8 CFR Part 235
Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, Passport and visas.
8 CFR Part 286
Fees, Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
8 CFR Part 299
Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Forms, Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Accordingly, chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES OF SERVICE OFFICERS; AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE RECORDS
The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows:
5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1201, 1252 note, 1252b, 1304, 1356; 31 U.S.C. 9701; E.O. 12356, 47 FR 14874, 15557, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p. 166; 8 CFR part 2.
In § 103.7, paragraph (b)(1) is amended by revising the entry for "Form I-823", to read as follows:
§ 103.7 Fees.
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(b) * * *
(1) * * *
Form I-823. For application to an Inspections Facilitation Program under section 286 of the Act--$25.00, with the maximum amount of $50.00 payable by a family (husband, wife, and minor children under 18 years of age). This fee may be waived for applicants seeking access through an Automated Permit Port (APP) on the northern border. If fingerprints are required, a separate fingerprint processing fee will be charged.
* * * * *