\ 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] \ Parole of Aliens
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Parole of Aliens
This interim rule modifies § 212.5(a) to comport with the statutory change made by IIRIRA to section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Act.
Withdrawal of Application for Admission
The proposed rule contains provisions to implement the longstanding practice used by the Service to permit applicants for admission to voluntarily withdraw their application for admission to the United States in lieu of removal proceedings, now included in section 235(a)(4) of the Act. The withdrawal provisions in the proposed rule were written to conform with rulings of the BIA on withdrawal and with standard practice in many jurisdictions. Several commenters suggested that every alien subject to the exp
edited removal provisions should automatically be offered the opportunity to withdraw his or her application for admission prior to the secondary inspection interview. Permission to withdraw an application for admission is solely at the discretion of the Attorney General and is not a right of the alien, a premise that has been consistently upheld by the BIA. Only the Attorney General may decide whether to pursue removal charges against an alien who has violated the immigration laws. Withdrawal of applica
tion for admission is only one of several discretionary options that may be considered by the Service once the facts of the case are known, and so will not automatically be offered to all aliens subject to expedited removal.
The Department does, however, share the concern of several commenters that aliens who may be inadvertently or unintentionally in violation of the immigration laws or regulations should not be subject to the harsh consequences of a formal removal order. The Department also wishes to ensure that the expedited removal provisions and the discretionary option to permit withdrawal are applied consistently and fairly throughout the nation. Although not included in the regulations at this time, the Department int
ends to formulate policy guidance and criteria for determining the types of cases in which such permission should or should not be considered.
Classes Subject to Expedited Removal
The Department requested public comment regarding the appropriate use of the authority conferred by the statute upon the Attorney General to expand the class of aliens subject to expedited removal. Most commenters commended the Department on its decision not to apply at this time the expedited removal provisions to aliens in the United States who have not been admitted or paroled and who cannot establish continuous physical presence in the United States for the previous two years. At this time, the Depart
ment will apply the provisions only to "arriving aliens," as defined in § 1.1(q). The Department acknowledges that application of the expedited removal provisions to aliens already in the United States will involve more complex determinations of fact and will be more difficult to manage, and therefore wishes to gain insight and experience by initially applying these new provisions on a more limited and controlled basis.
The Department does, however, reserve the right to apply the expedited removal procedures to additional classes of aliens within the limits set by the statute, if, in the Commissioner's discretion, such action is operationally warranted. It is emphasized that a proposed expansion of the expedited removal procedures may occur at any time and may be driven either by specific situations such as a sudden influx of illegal aliens motivated by political or economic unrest or other events or by a general need to
increase the effectiveness of enforcement operations at one or more locations.
Although several commenters suggested that imposition of the provisions should only occur after publication of a proposed rule followed by a comment period, the statute does not impose any specific notice requirement in connection with the Attorney General's designation under section 235(b)(1)(A)(3), and certainly does not impose the requirement of a full administrative rulemaking. Indeed, such a requirement would defeat a major purpose of this provision: to allow the Attorney General to respond rapidly,
effectively, and flexibly to situations of mass influx or other exigencies. The Attorney General has elected to exercise this authority in connection with publication of a notice in the Federal Register (in advance, where practicable) simply as a matter of sound administration and policy. The provisions contained in § 235.3(b) of this interim rule will apply for now only to arriving aliens.
Several commenters suggested that certain classes of individuals, such as minors, certain nonimmigrant classifications, and aliens claiming to be lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, should not be subject to expedited removal, or that it should not be applied where resources or location do not permit optimal inspection conditions. Some stated that aliens in expedited removal should be entitled to a full hearing before an immigration judge. The statute is clear that the expedited removal provisions
apply to all aliens inadmissible under sections 212(a)(6)(C) or (7) of the Act, and that such aliens are not entitled to further hearing or review with specific limited exceptions. Although the statute does not require it, the Department has provided for supervisory review and concurrence on all expedited removal orders. The statute itself provides for review of a claim to lawful permanent resident, refugee, or asylee status. In addition, the Department has a certain amount of prosecutorial discretion p
rovided by statute. It may, in lieu of instituting removal proceedings, permit an alien to withdraw his or her application for admission in those cases where there is no fraudulent intent and the alien is inadmissible only through inadvertent error or misinformation. There are also discretionary waivers available in certain cases.
Reorganization of § 235.3(b)(1) and (2)
In order to provide a more logical discussion of the applicability of the expedited removal provisions and the procedures for applying them, § 235.3(b)(1) (determination of inadmissibility) and § 235.3(b)(2) (applicability) as they appeared in the proposed regulation have been interchanged and revised as discussed below.
Expedited Removal Procedures
Many commenters stated that the provisions in § 235.3(b) were not sufficiently explicit to ensure that the expedited removal provisions are fairly and consistently applied. Because most of these commenters represented organizations primarily concerned with refugee and asylum issues, we have addressed this topic in detail below in the section relating to credible fear determinations and claims of asylum or fear of persecution by aliens subject to expedited removal.
Review of Claim of Status as Lawful Permanent Resident, Asylee, or Refugee
Several commenters suggested provisions of § 235.3(b)(5) were not sufficiently clear to provide adequate review of claims by returning lawful permanent residents, asylees, or refugees who are subject to expedited removal. Specifically, the commenters asserted that § 235.3(b)(5)(ii) could be interpreted to imply that an alien whose claim to lawful permanent residence is verified and is not granted a discretionary waiver or provided an opportunity through deferred inspection to present the required docume
nts could be ordered removed under section 235(b) of the Act. These commenters requested that § 235.3(b)(5)(iv) of the proposed regulation be amended to allow that claimed lawful permanent residents, asylees, or refugees (who the Service has been unable to verify ever was admitted in such status) be referred directly to removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act.
For the following reasons, these sections of the proposed regulation will not be changed in the interim rule. Section 235.3(b)(5)(ii) of the proposed regulation relates to those arriving aliens whose prior admission as a lawful permanent resident has been
by the immigration officer by referring to official Service records. The Department intends that when such a prior admission is verified, the individual will not be removed under the expedited removal provisions of section 235(b) of the Act, regardless of the officer's determination as to the individual's current admissibility and/or retention of such lawful permanent status. For that reason the first sentence of § 235.3(b)(5)(ii) sets forth this prohibition. Since the removal provisions under section 2
35(b) of the Act are not available, the only actions left for the examining officer are to: admit the individual (through the grant of a waiver if need be); defer inspection to allow the individual to retrieve the appropriate documents; or place the person in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act. This process will allow those individuals verified as having once been admitted as a lawful permanent resident, asylee, or refugee a full evidentiary hearing in removal proceedings under section 240 of
the Act before an immigration judge to address the heavily fact-based issues of abandonment of status or other issues concerning loss of status. The language "may initiate proceedings" was used here to indicate that the officer is not required to initiate any proceedings but may opt to admit the individual into the United States.
As for those individuals claiming to be returning lawful permanent residents, asylees, or refugees, but who are not verified by the Service as having ever been admitted in such status, the referral to the immigration judge in § 235.3(b)(5)(iv) is for the purpose of allowing the individual to establish such a prior admission in such status, nothing more. If the individual establishes such a prior admission, the immigration judge will terminate the expedited removal order and at that point that person will b
e in the same position as the person whose prior admission was verified by the inspecting Service officer: the Service can admit the individual or contest his or her current retention of such status in the context of removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act.
Another commenter contended that it is not appropriate to refer aliens who are verified as having been admitted or establish that they were once admitted as lawful permanent residents, asylees, or refugees to proceedings under section 240 of the Act. Section 235(b)(1)(C) of the Act states that the Attorney General shall provide regulations for administrative review of an expedited removal order entered against "an alien who claims under oath. . ." to have been lawfully admitted as a lawful permanent reside
nt, asylee, or refugee. The statute provides no further directive as to how aliens who actually have been admitted in such status are to be processed if, in fact, the Service believes that such status may no longer be valid. If that claim is never verified or established before the inspecting Service officer or an Immigration Judge, the expedited removal order entered against the alien will be effected and the alien will be removed from the United States. However, once an alien establishes admission in
such status, it is not inconsistent with the statute for further proceedings against an alien known to have been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, asylee, or refugee to occur in the context of proceedings under section 240 of the Act. Further, given the greater interests and ties to the United States normally at stake for such aliens compared to those arriving without any previous status, the Department considers it appropriate that verified arriving permanent residents, asylees, and refugees be
accorded the protections inherent in proceedings under section 240 of the Act.