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Application for Refugee Status; Acceptable Sponsorship Agreement and Guaranty of Transportation [64 FR 27660] [FR 24-99]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
64 FR 27660
DATE OF PUBLICATION:
May 21, 1999
BILLING CODE 4410-10
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Part 207
[INS No. 1999-99]
Application for Refugee Status; Acceptable Sponsorship Agreement
and Guaranty of Transportation
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act)
authorizes the Attorney General to admit refugees to the United States under certain conditions, including those provided for by regulation. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) regulations require that sponsorship agreements be secured before an applicant is granted admission as a refugee at a U.S. port-of-entry (POE). The determination of whether or not someone is classified as a refugee is described in the Act as a separate decision from whether a refugee may be admitted to the United S
tates in refugee status. This rule amends the Service regulations by removing language that erroneously implies that the Service requires a sponsorship agreement and guaranty of transportation prior to determining whether an applicant is a refugee. This rule is necessary to clarify issues that may appear ambiguous in the existing regulation, and provides more advantageous treatment for the limited number of applicants for refugee status who have their
Service interviews before sponsorship agreements have been secured.
: This interim rule is effective May 21, 1999.
: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 20, 1999.
Please submit written comments in triplicate to the
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Room 5307, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference INS number 1999-99 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection at the above address by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kathleen Thompson, Office of
International Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20536, Telephone (202) 305-2662.
Section 207 of the Act authorizes the
Attorney General to admit refugees to the United States under certain conditions. By regulation, sponsorship is required before a refugee can be admitted to the United States. Sponsorship ensures refugees who are admitted to the United States transportation, housing, and assistance in this country. Sponsorship is a requirement separate and apart from the determination that an applicant is classified as a refugee. The current regulations at 8 CFR 207.2(d), states that: "[t]he application for refugee statu
s will not be approved until the Service receives an acceptable sponsorship agreement and guaranty of transportation in [sic] behalf of the applicant."
This sentence may inappropriately imply that there is a requirement to have secured sponsorship in advance of a determination to be classified as a refugee, which is not the case. The Service has never required the sponsorship assurance before determining whether an applicant meets the definition of refugee under section 101(a)(42) of the Act.
All refugees seeking admission to the United States must satisfy the statutory and regulatory requirements before the Service can admit them to the United States. For example, a refugee must have a sponsor at the time he or she appears at a U.S. POE with an approved Form I-590, Registration for Classification as Refugee, in order to be admitted as a refugee. If the required sponsorship has not been secured or the required medical screening has not been completed, and the refugee arrives at a U.S. POE, the
immigration inspector cannot admit the refugee.
Good Cause Exception
This interim rule is effective upon date of publication in the
, although the Service invites post-promulgation
comments within a 60-day comment period and will address any such comments in a final rule. For the following reasons, the Service finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3) for implementing this rule as an interim rule without the prior notice and comment period ordinarily required under this provision. This rule simply clarifies issues that may appear ambiguous in the existing regulation, and provides more advantageous treatment for the limited number of applicants for refugee statu
s who have their Service interviews before sponsorship agreements have been secured. Early implementation will be advantageous to the intended beneficiaries of this rule. Therefore, it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to delay the implementation of this rule until after a notice and comment period.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because of the following factors: This rule clarifies the difference between refugee classification and refugee status. It also clarifies the timing and significance of those determinations. This change will not affect small entities.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any 1 year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.
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. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review process under section 6(a)(3)(A).
Executive Order 12612
The regulation adopted 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 12988 Civil Justice Reform
This interim rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988.
List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 207
Immigration, Refugees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Accordingly, part 207 of chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
PART 207--ADMISSION OF REFUGEES
1. The authority citation for part 207 continues to read as follows:
8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1151, 1157, 1158, 1159, 1182; 8 CFR part 2.
§ 207.2 [Amended]
2. In § 207.2, paragraph (d) is amended by removing the last sentence.
May 11, 1999
Commissioner,Immigration and Naturalization Service.