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  • News: DHS Publishes Notice Of Correction On USCIS Immigration Benefits Business Transformation

    Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 74 (Wednesday, April 17, 2013)
    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 74 (Wednesday, April 17, 2013)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 22770-22771]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-08985]
    8 CFR Parts 103 and 208
    [CIS No. 2481-09; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2009-0022]
    RIN 1615-AB83
    Immigration Benefits Business Transformation, Increment I; 
    AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
    Homeland Security.
    ACTION: Correcting amendment.
    SUMMARY: On August 29, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
    published a final rule to amend DHS regulations to enable U.S. 
    Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to transform its business 
    processes. In this notice, we are correcting three technical errors.
    DATES: The effective date of this correcting amendment is April 17, 
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason J. Johnsen, Office of 
    Transformation Coordination, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
    Department of Homeland Security, 633 Third St. NW., Washington, DC 
    20529-2210; telephone (202) 233-2515.
        On August 29, 2011, DHS issued a final rule titled, Immigration 
    Benefits Business Transformation, Increment I, which amended more than 
    fifty parts of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations and finalized 
    seven interim rules. 76 FR 53764 (Aug. 29, 2011). The final rule 
    removed form titles, number references, and position titles. It also 
    removed obsolete and expired regulatory provisions and corrected 
    provisions that were affected by statutory changes.\1\
        \1\ In addition, before the rule took effect, DHS reviewed the 
    public comments in the docket of this final rule and corrected 
    several errors and omissions in a correction that was effective on 
    the same date as the rule. 73 FR 73475 (Nov. 29, 2011) (effective 
    Nov. 28, 2011).
    Need for correction
        DHS amended 8 CFR in the final rule, wherever possible, to:
        1. Remove references to official position titles used within DHS or 
    used in the past by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service 
    (INS). These titles include director, district director, and 
    commissioner, as well as position descriptions, such as examiner or 
    adjudicator. 76 FR 53764, 53767.
        2. Replace references to the terms ``application'' and ``petition'' 
    with the newly defined term ``benefit request.'' Id.
        3. Remove information about internal processing, administrative 
    filing requirements, filing locations, and procedures. Id.
        DHS inadvertently neglected to revise the language in 8 CFR 
    103.2(b)(18) to reflect these changes. DHS is correcting that oversight 
    by replacing individual job titles with ``USCIS'' in 8 CFR 
    103.2(b)(18). Delegations of authority to fulfill various 
    responsibilities with respect to benefits requests are set forth in 
    internal USCIS guidance. In addition, this correcting amendment 
    replaces, ``application or petition'' with ``benefit request.''
        In addition, the August 2011 final rule amended the definition of 
    ``Service'' to mean, ``U.S. Citizenship and
    [[Page 22771]]
    Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and/or U.S. 
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as appropriate in the context in 
    which the term appears.'' 76 FR 53764, 53780. Where a section of the 
    regulations was determined to pertain to an action that may have been 
    taken by INS, or a function that is within the purview of or shared 
    with another component, the term ``the Service'' was retained or 
    inserted. Id.
        DHS made one erroneous amendment in the August 2011 final rule with 
    regard to the use of ``USCIS'' in lieu of ``the Service.'' In 8 CFR 
    part 208, the term ``the Service'' was revised to read ``USCIS,'' 
    including in 8 CFR 208.24(f), which deals with the termination of 
    asylum or withholding of deportation or removal by an Immigration Judge 
    or the Board of Immigration Appeals. Termination of asylum is an 
    authority shared between the Department of Justice and USCIS, but USCIS 
    has no role in removal proceedings beyond the issuance of a notice to 
    appear in accordance with 8 CFR 208.24(e) and (g). The current, 
    recently-amended regulatory language incorrectly provides, however, 
    that USCIS has the responsibility in removal proceedings to establish 
    grounds of termination, whereas that is the responsibility of U.S. 
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Therefore, this notice corrects 
    that error by removing one incorrect reference to ``USCIS'' in 8 CFR 
    208.24(f) and replacing it with ``the Service.''
    List of Subjects
    8 CFR Part 103
        Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations 
    (Government agencies), Freedom of information, Immigration, Privacy, 
    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.
    8 CFR Part 208
        Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, 
    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
        Accordingly, for the reasons set out in the preamble, chapter I of 
    title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations is corrected by making the 
    following correcting amendments:
    1. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows:
        Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1304, 
    1356, 1365b; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 
    U.S.C. 1 et seq.); E.O. 12356, 47 FR 14874, 15557, 3 CFR, 1982 
    Comp., p. 166; 8 CFR part 2.
    2. Section 103.2 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(18) to read as 
    Subpart A--Applying for Benefits, Surety Bonds, Fees
    Sec.  103.2  Submission and adjudication of benefit requests.
    * * * * *
        (b) * * *
        (18) Withholding adjudication. USCIS may authorize withholding 
    adjudication of a visa petition or other application if USCIS 
    determines that an investigation has been undertaken involving a matter 
    relating to eligibility or the exercise of discretion, where 
    applicable, in connection with the benefit request, and that the 
    disclosure of information to the applicant or petitioner in connection 
    with the adjudication of the benefit request would prejudice the 
    ongoing investigation. If an investigation has been undertaken and has 
    not been completed within one year of its inception, USCIS will review 
    the matter and determine whether adjudication of the benefit request 
    should be held in abeyance for six months or until the investigation is 
    completed, whichever comes sooner. If, after six months of USCIS's 
    determination, the investigation has not been completed, the matter 
    will be reviewed again by USCIS and, if it concludes that more time is 
    needed to complete the investigation, adjudication may be held in 
    abeyance for up to another six months. If the investigation is not 
    completed at the end of that time, USCIS may authorize that 
    adjudication be held in abeyance for another six months. Thereafter, if 
    USCIS determines it is necessary to continue to withhold adjudication 
    pending completion of the investigation, it will review that 
    determination every six months.
    * * * * *
    3. The authority citation for part 208 continues to read as follows:
        Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1158, 1226, 1252, 1282; Title 
    VII of Pub. L. 110-229; 8 CFR part 2.
    Subpart A--Asylum and Withholding of Removal
    Sec.  208.24  [Corrected]
    4. Section 208.24 is amended in paragraph (f), the second sentence, by 
    removing the term ``USCIS'' and adding in its place the term, ``the 
    Christina E. McDonald,
    Associate General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2013-08985 Filed 4-16-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
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