Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 62 (Monday, April 1, 2013)


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 62 (Monday, April 1, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19400-19408]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-07526]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Executive Office for Immigration Review

8 CFR Part 1292

[Docket No. EOIR 138F; A.G. Order No. 3377-2013]
RIN 1125-AA39


Registry for Attorneys and Representatives

AGENCY: Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This final rule adopts, as amended, the proposed rule to
authorize the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review
(EOIR), or his designee, to register attorneys and accredited
representatives as a condition of practicing before immigration judges
and the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board or BIA). The final rule
provides that the Director may establish registration procedures,
including a requirement for electronic registration, and may
administratively suspend from practice before EOIR any attorney or
accredited representative who fails to provide certain registration
information. This rule is part of an initiative to create an electronic
case access and filing system within EOIR. The Department of Justice
(Department) will publish a notice in the Federal Register prior to
implementing the registration process. Although this rule is published
as a final rule, post-promulgation public comments will be considered
as EOIR moves forward with other phases of its electronic access and
filing initiative.

DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective May 31, 2013. Comment
date: Written comments must be submitted on or before May 31, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by EOIR Docket No. 138F,
by one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Commenters should be
aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not
accept comments after midnight Eastern Time on the last day of the
comment period.
Mail: Jeff Rosenblum, General Counsel, Office of the
General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg
Pike, Suite 2600, Falls Church, VA 22041. To ensure proper handling,
please reference EOIR Docket No. 138F on your correspondence. You may
also use this mailing address to submit disks or CD-ROMs.
Hand Delivery/Courier: Jeff Rosenblum, General Counsel,
Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review,
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600, Falls Church, VA 22041. Contact
Telephone Number (703) 305-0470.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Rosenblum, General Counsel,
Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite
2600, Falls Church, VA 22041, telephone (703) 305-0470 (not a toll-free
call).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

On December 30, 2003, the Department published in the Federal
Register a proposed rule that would establish a registry of attorneys
and representatives who practice before EOIR. 68 FR 75160. The comment
period ended March 1, 2004. The Department received seven letters from
organizations and individuals, including the American Immigration
Lawyers Association, several law school clinical programs, and two
attorneys. Because some comments overlap and all of the commenters
raised multiple subjects, the comments are addressed below by topic
rather than by reference to a specific commenter. The changes to the
proposed regulatory text made in response to public comments are
addressed below. With the exception of the additional changes explained
below, all other provisions of the proposed rule on which the public
did not comment are adopted without change in this final rule.
As described further below, EOIR regards this rule as an initial
step in a multi-year, multi-phased initiative to make the transition to
an electronic case access and filing system. Therefore, EOIR will
accept post-promulgation comments regarding this rule and will consider
them as it moves forward with its initiative.

II. Regulatory Background

This rule amends 8 CFR part 1292 by revising Sec. 1292.1(a)(1) and
(a)(4), and by establishing a new paragraph at Sec. 1292.1(f).\1\
These amendments provide the Director of EOIR with the authority to
require attorneys and accredited representatives to register with EOIR
in order to practice before its immigration judges and the Board.\2\
The rule specifies the information that attorneys and accredited
representatives will need to provide to EOIR when registering. The
Director will require that attorneys and accredited representatives
register through electronic means.\3\
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\1\ As noted below, EOIR will publish a notice in the Federal
Register specifying the date on which attorneys and accredited
representatives will first be able to register and the date by which
attorneys and accredited representatives must register. The final
rule revises slightly the proposed rule's amendments to 8 CFR
1292.1(a)(1) and (a)(4) to clarify that EOIR will not require
attorneys and accredited representatives to register by the
effective date of this rule. Instead, EOIR will publish further
implementation guidance in the Federal Register.
\2\ For purposes of this rule, the term ``attorney'' refers to
any individual meeting the definition of ``attorney'' in 8 CFR
1001.1(f), except any attorney who represents the Federal Government
before EOIR. The term ``accredited representative'' refers only to
an accredited representative who is accredited to appear before
EOIR. See 8 CFR 1292.2(d). The provisions of this rule do not apply
to accredited representatives who are only accredited to appear
before the Department of Homeland Security. See id.
\3\ As part of the registration process, attorneys and
accredited representatives will be required to attest to the
accuracy of the data they are submitting electronically.
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EOIR is permitted to authorize individuals to practice in
proceedings before immigration judges and the Board. See 8 U.S.C.
1229a(b)(4)(A) and 8 CFR part 1292. Pursuant to this final rule,
attorneys and accredited representatives will need to register in order
to be authorized to practice before EOIR. If an attorney or accredited
representative who has cases pending with EOIR when this final rule
takes effect fails to register by the deadline for registering, EOIR
may administratively suspend that individual from practice.\4\ An
attorney or accredited representative

[[Page 19401]]

subject to administrative suspension will be able to resume practicing
before EOIR upon his or her completion of the registration process.
While administrative suspension, on its own, is not disciplinary in
nature, multiple attempts by an unregistered attorney or accredited
representative to appear before EOIR may result in disciplinary
sanctions. Any individual meeting the definition of ``attorney'' in 8
CFR 1001.1(f) (other than one who represents the Federal Government) or
the definition of ``representative'' in 8 CFR 1001.1(j) is subject to
disciplinary sanctions for misconduct, even if the individual is not
registered. See 8 CFR 1003.101(b).
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\4\ If an attorney or accredited representative cannot appear at
a hearing because he or she has failed to register, the immigration
judge has the means available to avoid prejudice to the alien's
case, which might include granting one-time permission for the
attorney or accredited representative to appear in the case prior to
registering, as discussed below, or a continuance under the
applicable case law.
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The requirement that attorneys and accredited representatives
register with EOIR is part of an initiative to create an electronic
case access and filing system within EOIR. The Government Paperwork
Elimination Act (GPEA), Public Law 105-277, tit. XVII, section 1704,
112 Stat. 2681, 2681-750 (Oct. 21, 1998), 44 U.S.C. 3504 note, provides
that, when practicable, Federal agencies will provide for the
electronic submission of information. As an initial step in the process
of creating an electronic filing system, EOIR must register attorneys
and accredited representatives.
When an attorney or accredited representative registers, he or she
will create a unique UserID and password for online access to the
registry, and EOIR will assign a unique EOIR identification number
(EOIR ID number) to each registrant.\5\ The EOIR ID number will ensure
that each attorney and accredited representative will be specifically
identified in the electronic case filing system with his or her
registration information. Currently, the Board and each immigration
court assign a three-character identifier to attorneys and accredited
representatives appearing before them for use in EOIR's case tracking
system. As a result, EOIR could have multiple identifiers for the same
attorney or accredited representative in different courts, and
different attorneys and accredited representatives may have the same
identifiers in different courts. This decentralized structure is
inadequate for the electronic case filing system that EOIR intends to
establish.
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\5\ The notice of proposed rulemaking indicated that EOIR would
issue UserIDs to registrants. See 68 FR 75161. However, since the
time of publication, application design and security standards have
evolved, and it is now preferred that individual applicants select
their own UserID and password to create online accounts.
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Through the registration process, EOIR will ensure that each
attorney or accredited representative will be individually identified
and associated with the registration information that the attorney or
accredited representative will provide during registration. This will
reduce errors concerning an attorney's or accredited representative's
correct mailing address and avoid confusion as to who is representing a
particular alien.\6\ Further, registered attorneys and accredited
representatives will be able to access the registry with their unique
UserIDs and passwords to update their registration information online
and, in the future, to access EOIR's electronic filing system.\7\
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\6\ EOIR intends to issue in a Federal Register notice guidance,
as needed, to be followed when an attorney or accredited
representative seeks to change his or her address.
\7\ EOIR will not require an attorney or accredited
representative to include his or her online UserID on Form EOIR-27
and Form EOIR-28, as originally stated in the notice of proposed
rulemaking, but instead EOIR will require each registrant to include
his or her assigned, unique EOIR ID number on these forms.
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III. Registration

Following the promulgation of this final rule, EOIR intends to
require all attorneys and accredited representatives who practice
before immigration judges or the Board to register online. EOIR will
require that attorneys and accredited representatives provide the
following information when registering: full name; date of birth;
business address(es); business telephone number(s); email address; bar
admission information (for attorneys); \8\ and recognized organization
(for accredited representatives).\9\
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\8\ Specifically, all attorneys will be required to list their
state bar membership(s) as part of the online registration. An
attorney who is a member of a state bar association that issues bar
numbers will also be required to list his or her bar number(s) while
registering.
\9\ In the notice of proposed rulemaking, EOIR indicated that it
may request that accredited representatives indicate the recognized
organization with which they are affiliated. In this final rule,
EOIR has decided to require that an accredited representative
indicate the recognized organization(s) with which they are
affiliated. This is consistent with the regulatory requirement that
all accredited representatives must be affiliated with an
organization that has received recognition by the Board pursuant to
8 CFR 1292.2(a).
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As noted above, EOIR will require an attorney or accredited
representative to create a unique UserID and password for online access
to the registry. Prior to approving a registry account and issuing an
EOIR ID, EOIR will also require a registry applicant to present photo
identification in person, so that the applicant's identity can be
validated. EOIR does not anticipate that the in-person presentation
requirement will be unduly burdensome. Applicants for registration will
be able to present their identification at any immigration court or at
the Board's Office of the Clerk. In addition, EOIR anticipates that
applicants may be able to present their identification at other
locations where EOIR hearings are conducted, including those where
hearings are conducted by video conference. Before the registration
requirement takes effect, EOIR will issue additional information on its
Web site regarding the locations at which registry applicants will be
able to present their identification.
EOIR will include this online registration requirement consistent
with mandatory guidance published by the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB), which ``requires agencies to review new and existing
electronic transactions to ensure that authentication processes provide
the appropriate level of assurance.'' \10\ Once registered, attorneys
and accredited representatives will receive online access to sensitive
information--specifically, personally identifiable information.\11\
Initially, registered attorneys and accredited representatives may have
online access to clients' names and addresses. In the future, once
EOIR's electronic filing system is introduced, registered attorneys and
accredited representatives will have online access to clients' court
files, which often include additional sensitive information such as
asylum applications, records of criminal convictions, and financial and
medical records.
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\10\ See OMB Memorandum to the Heads of all Departments and
Agencies, E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies, Dec. 16,
2003, section 1.1, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf.
\11\ Personally identifiable information is ``information which
can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such
as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc.
alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying
information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual,
such as date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.'' OMB
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,
Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally
Identifiable Information, May 22, 2007, at 1 n. 1, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy2007/m07-16.pdf.
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Applying the standards set forth in the OMB guidelines, EOIR has
determined that the potential impact of the unauthorized release of the
sensitive information described above is moderate, as the unauthorized
release of information such as an individual's address, asylum
application, records of criminal convictions, financial records, or
medical records ``could be expected to have a serious adverse effect''
on the person involved.\12\ The OMB guidelines

[[Page 19402]]

require that, where the potential impact of the unauthorized release of
sensitive information is moderate, there must exist a ``[h]igh
confidence in the asserted identity's validity'' in order for an
individual to access government services online.\13\ EOIR's requirement
that applicants present photo identification in person will provide
EOIR with a high degree of confidence in a registering attorney's or
accredited representative's identity, and therefore meets the standards
of the OMB guidelines.
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\12\ OMB guidance states that the potential impact of an
unauthorized release of sensitive information is moderate if, ``at
worst, a release of personal * * * information to unauthorized
parties result[s] in a loss of confidentiality with a moderate
impact as defined in [the Federal Information Processing Standards
Publication 199 [FIPS PUB 199], Standards for Security
Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems].''
OMB Memorandum, supra note 10, section 2.2. In turn, FIPS PUB 199
states that the potential impact of a breach of security is moderate
if ``[t]he loss of confidentiality * * * could be expected to have a
serious adverse effect on * * * individuals.'' FIPS PUB 199, Feb.
2004, p. 2, at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips199/FIPS-PUB-199-final.pdf.
\13\ OMB Memorandum, supra note 10, section 2.1, 2.2.
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This validation requirement replaces the requirement in the
proposed rule that each registry applicant enter the last four digits
of his or her Social Security number. See 68 FR 75162. EOIR notes that
online security standards have evolved since the proposed rule was
published in 2003, and EOIR believes that the proposed rule's
procedures for registration and validation of identity, while
sufficient then, would not comply with current security standards.
Further, OMB has broadly directed agencies to reduce their collection
of social security numbers.\14\
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\14\ See OMB Memorandum, supra note 11, at 7 (stating that
``[a]gencies must now * * * review their use of social security
numbers in agency systems and programs to identify instances in
which collection or use of the social security number is
superfluous,'' and that ``[a]gencies must participate in government-
wide efforts to explore alternatives to agency use of Social
Security Numbers as a personal identifier for both Federal employees
and in Federal programs'').
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EOIR is implementing this requirement that a registry applicant
validate his or her identity by presenting photo identification as a
final rule, because this validation method is a logical outgrowth of
the requirement in the proposed rule that an applicant submit the last
four digits of his or her social security number. See, e.g.,
Environmental Defense Center v. U.S. E.P.A., 344 F.3d 832, 852 (9th
Cir. 2003); American Water Works ***'n v. E.P.A., 40 F.3d 1266, 1274
(D.C. Cir. 1994). Both requirements represent means of validating an
applicant's identity before registration is permitted; the final rule
simply changes how the applicant's identity is validated. An interested
party should have anticipated that the final rule would continue to
contain a validation requirement involving personally identifiable
information. See Environmental Defense Center, 344 F.3d at 851 (stating
that ``[i]n determining whether notice was adequate [where a final rule
differs from a proposed rule], we consider whether the complaining
party should have anticipated that a particular requirement might be
imposed''). Although, under the final rule, an attorney or accredited
representative must validate his or her identity in person, EOIR does
not believe that the requirement will impose a significant burden on
applicants. As noted above, applicants will be able to present their
identification at any immigration court and at the Board's Office of
the Clerk, and EOIR anticipates that applicants may also be able to
present their identification at other locations where EOIR hearings are
conducted, including those where hearings are conducted by video.
The notice of proposed rulemaking also indicated that EOIR would
request, but not require, an email address during the registration
process. However, in the years since the proposed rule was published,
Internet connectivity has become extremely common and, for the legal
profession, a necessity. In recognition of the widespread use of
Internet connected computers and other devices, this final rule
requires that attorneys and accredited representatives who register
provide an email address. Further, EOIR must obtain an email address
for each attorney and accredited representative in order to send case-
related notices to them electronically. The ability to do this is
essential to implement the electronic filing system that EOIR intends
to establish in the future. Given the wide availability and use of the
Internet in the legal profession, the provision in the final rule
requiring an email address during the registration process does not
impose a significant burden on applicants and does not constitute a
significant change to the proposed rule.
Prior to implementing the registration process, the Department will
publish a notice in the Federal Register that provides the date on
which registration will commence, the date by which all attorneys or
accredited representatives must register, and instructions for
registering.

IV. Responses to Comments

Comment. One commenter questioned the utility of an attorney
registry. The commenter stated that registration would constitute an
unnecessary burden on attorneys because the requested information would
be duplicative of that requested in Form EOIR-27 and Form EOIR-28
(Notice of Appearance). The commenter also suggested that EOIR require
registration only for those persons who wish to participate in an
electronic filing system.
Response. As explained above, the requirement that attorneys and
accredited representatives register with EOIR is part of an initiative
to create an electronic case access and filing system pursuant to the
GPEA. EOIR must register attorneys and accredited representatives as an
initial step in the process of creating an electronic filing system.
Registration will primarily consist of providing, through an EOIR
Web page, the information described in the regulation and presenting
photo identification in person, so that the registry applicant's
identity can be validated. This process is free and relatively simple.
The information collected will be different, in part, from that
requested in Form EOIR-27 and Form EOIR-28 and will consist of the
applicant's name, business address(es), business telephone number(s),
date of birth, email address, bar admission information (if
applicable), and recognized organization (if applicable). As discussed
below, the collected information will be used to approve a unique
UserID and password created by each registrant that will permit access
to the registry and, in the future, access to EOIR's electronic filing
system. Also, EOIR will assign each registrant a unique EOIR ID number
and require that the registrant include this EOIR ID number on any Form
EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 he or she files with EOIR. In accordance with
the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Department is republishing in this
rule the new information collection, previously published in the 2003
proposed rule, in order to obtain additional comments from the public
and affected agencies.
The Department notes that the registration of attorneys and
accredited representatives will benefit both EOIR and the registrants.
The registry will ensure that each attorney or accredited
representative is individually and uniquely identified and associated
with the registration information that the attorney or accredited
representative will provide during registration. This will increase
efficiency by reducing system errors in scheduling matters and
providing improved notice to attorneys and accredited representatives.
Further, registration will ultimately enable an electronic filing
system that will reduce

[[Page 19403]]

the time and expense presently incurred with paper filings.
Such an electronic filing system will also lead to automation of
EOIR's case management system and bring greater efficiency to EOIR's
handling of cases. In order to yield significant benefit from
electronic filing, EOIR must include all attorneys and accredited
representatives who appear before it. Therefore, attorneys and
accredited representatives will be required to participate.
Comment. One commenter expressed concern that the online
registration process would be complicated for users. The commenter
noted that attorneys who practice before EOIR have varied computer
skills.
Response. The Department appreciates the concerns expressed by the
commenter. EOIR intends to create a user-friendly online registry and
instructions for usage. As discussed previously, significant changes
have occurred in the use of computers and the Internet since
publication of the proposed rule. Computer usage and Internet access
have become extremely common and a necessary aspect of the practice of
law, including for the purposes of legal research and electronically
filing documents with many courts. Therefore, the commenter's concerns
regarding the computer skills of attorneys or accredited
representatives are less pertinent now than they were at the time of
the comment in 2004.
Comment. Two commenters expressed concerns about the proposal to
place a ``Practitioner Workstation'' in each immigration court and at
the Board to facilitate registration for attorneys and accredited
representatives who did not have access to the Internet. One of the
commenters noted that workstations would be costly to taxpayers, while
another thought that maintaining a workstation at each court would be
too burdensome.
Response. The notice of proposed rulemaking stated that EOIR would
provide a ``Practitioner Workstation'' in each immigration court and at
the Board in order to allow attorneys and accredited representatives to
register electronically. As noted above, in the time that has elapsed
since publication of the proposed rule, Internet access has become
extremely common, and a necessity for the practice of law. Most
representatives have access to the Internet at home or work. Therefore,
the Department does not believe that dedicated workstations are
necessary at this time and cannot justify the expense of maintaining
them. Accordingly, the final rule does not provide for EOIR to set up
dedicated workstations at its immigration courts or offices. EOIR
recognizes that, without such workstations, an unregistered attorney or
accredited representative may not be able to register ``immediately''
after a hearing at which he or she is permitted to appear, as
contemplated by the proposed rule. Therefore, EOIR has revised the
language in the final rule to indicate that an unregistered attorney or
accredited representative who is permitted to appear at a hearing must
register ``without delay.''
Comment. One commenter stated that the registration system should
be designed to permit an unregistered attorney to appear at a hearing
in the place of the attorney of record in a case without having to
register.
Response. The final rule provides that an ``immigration judge may,
under extraordinary and rare circumstances, permit an unregistered
attorney or accredited representative to appear at one hearing if the
immigration judge first acquires from the attorney or accredited
representative, on the record, the required registration information.''
\15\ This one-time exception to the registration requirement permits a
single appearance by an unregistered attorney, or accredited
representative at one hearing.\16\ The hearing may be a master
calendar, individual, custody or any other type of hearing. Such
permission, if granted, would allow an unregistered attorney or
accredited representative to, for example, ``fill in'' for an attorney
of record prior to completing the registration process. However, the
final rule also requires the unregistered attorney or accredited
representative to complete the registration process without delay after
the hearing.
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\15\ The one-time exception applies only to ``one hearing''
before an immigration judge. Note that generally, the Board decides
appeals by conducting a paper review of cases, and only rarely holds
oral argument. Because the immigration courts regularly hold
courtroom proceedings and the Board rarely holds oral argument where
attorneys or accredited representatives appear in person, the final
rule provides that only an immigration judge may grant a one-time
exception to allow an unregistered practitioner to appear.
\16\ ``One hearing'' means a single appearance by an attorney or
accredited representative on behalf of a respondent(s) in a single
case. This means that, for example, if an unregistered attorney or
accredited representative is permitted under the one-time exception
to appear on behalf of a respondent at a master calendar hearing,
the attorney or accredited representative must register before
representing any additional respondents appearing in different cases
at that court session. In exceptional circumstances, in order to
avoid prejudice or delay to other scheduled cases, ``one hearing''
may include an attorney or accredited representative appearing on
behalf of more than one respondent at the same court session.
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The Department believes that this provision is appropriate. It not
only provides an opportunity for an unregistered attorney or accredited
representative to appear when extraordinary and rare circumstances are
present, but also ensures that the attorney or accredited
representative will be properly registered in case he or she needs to
appear before EOIR in the future. Such an approach maintains the
integrity of the registry while providing flexibility when necessary.
Registration is not burdensome because it is free and relatively
simple.
Comment. One commenter stated that an immigration judge should not
be authorized to permit an unregistered attorney to appear at a single
hearing. The commenter was concerned that immigration courts may lack
the ability to track and enforce the provision that an unregistered
attorney will only be permitted to appear at one hearing until he or
she is registered.
Response. While the Department appreciates the commenter's concern,
the Department believes that it is necessary to provide immigration
judges with the discretion to permit a single appearance by an
unregistered attorney or accredited representative when circumstances
warrant. This provision safeguards the right of aliens to be
represented by counsel of their choice and may avoid unnecessary
delays. If an unregistered attorney or accredited representative
appears at a hearing and fails to complete the registration process
after the hearing, that attorney or accredited representative would not
be eligible to appear again until he or she registers, and EOIR may
also consider whether additional sanctions might be appropriate under
the circumstances.
Comment. One commenter raised a number of concerns about the impact
of the registry on individual immigration cases. The commenter believed
that registration would preclude multiple attorneys from representing
the same alien and that EOIR should permit multiple attorneys to appear
in the same case. The commenter also expressed concern that an attorney
who leaves a law firm can simply change his or her address in the
registry without informing the law firm, presumably to take cases
belonging to the law firm to another practice. Further, the commenter
cautioned that EOIR needed to safeguard against a situation in which an
accredited representative leaves the employ of a recognized
organization before completing representation on all cases in which the
accredited representative entered an appearance. Finally, the commenter
suggested that when EOIR issues electronic notices, it should: transmit
all notices to all attorneys of record on a case; provide by

[[Page 19404]]

regular mail a copy of any notice sent electronically; and send a copy
of all electronically served notices to a represented alien's email
address. A different commenter wanted EOIR to ensure that all
correspondence from EOIR will be sent to the attorney of record on a
particular case, even if another attorney ``filled in'' for the
attorney of record at a hearing.
Response. The registry will not change EOIR's current policies or
practices regarding representation. For example, multiple attorneys or
accredited representatives will continue to be permitted to appear
simultaneously in a case before the immigration court, subject to
conditions, and the immigration court will continue to send
correspondence to the attorney or accredited representative of record,
and not to any other attorney or representative who ``filled in'' for
him or her. As the Board only recognizes one attorney or accredited
representative of record, the Board will also only send correspondence
to the attorney or accredited representative of record. In addition,
the registry will not change EOIR's regulations providing that
individual attorneys or accredited representatives, as opposed to law
firms or recognized organizations, represent respondents. See 8 CFR
1292.1, 1292.4(a). If an attorney changes firms and notifies EOIR of
his or her address change, he or she remains the attorney of record,
absent the immigration judge or Board granting a request for withdrawal
or substitution. See 8 CFR 1003.17(b). Similarly, if an accredited
representative leaves a recognized organization, and notifies EOIR of
his or her accreditation with another recognized organization, he or
she remains the representative of record, absent the immigration judge
or Board granting a request for withdrawal or substitution. See id.
If EOIR requires mandatory electronic filing in the future, it will
issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on that subject, providing an
opportunity to consider issues that may arise in individual cases due
to such a system. The Department will consider such comments when
determining how to establish an electronic filing system.
Comment. One commenter expressed concern regarding attorneys who
may appear at hearings on behalf of a number of different law offices.
The commenter stated that attorneys ``who appear as `Of Counsel' to
other attorneys in particular cases, might find themselves
unnecessarily subject to sanctions or other punishment simply because
the nature of their practice requires them to handle cases on behalf of
a number of different law firms.''
Response. Under the contemplated registration process, EOIR intends
to require all attorneys and accredited representatives to register
electronically. The fact that an individual attorney may handle cases
on behalf of a number of different law offices will not be problematic
under the registration process, as the registry will permit an
individual attorney or accredited representative to enter multiple
addresses.
Comment. Two commenters, representing several law school clinical
programs, suggested that law school clinics should be able to register
as entities in lieu of registering individual law students. They stated
that permitting clinics to register as entities would make sense in
light of the high turnover rate of law students and the close
supervision that the law students receive by the faculty member who
runs the clinic. Both commenters asserted that registering the clinic,
not the individual student, would improve notice and accountability,
and would increase efficiency by limiting any complications that may
arise when cases are transferred between students when they leave the
clinic. One of the commenters also expressed concern that registered
law students may use that registration to represent aliens without the
clinic's oversight. The other commenter noted that while an individual
student should not be able to register, he or she should continue to be
able to enter a notice of appearance in his or her own name.
Response. The Department agrees with the commenters that law
students should not be required to register with EOIR. The Department
believes that, given the transient nature of law students'
participation in clinical programs and the limited circumstances under
which students can represent individuals before EOIR, it would be
overly burdensome to require students to register. Specifically, it
would be impractical to design a system under which a student's
registration expired when he or she left a clinical program,
particularly given the absence of any mechanism to inform EOIR when a
student leaves a program. Further, there is no regulatory provision
permitting a law student to appear before EOIR if not enrolled in a
``legal aid program or clinic,'' and it would be problematic for those
students to remain registered after leaving a clinical program. See 8
CFR 1292.1(a)(2)(ii) (stating, among other requirements, that a law
student must be participating ``in a legal aid program or clinic
conducted by a law school or non-profit organization''). For these
reasons, under the final rule, law students will not be required to
register with EOIR. This rule will not affect the ability of a law
student to enter an appearance in his or her own name pursuant to 8 CFR
1292.1(a)(2).
The Department does not adopt the commenters' suggestion that EOIR
register law school clinic programs. EOIR's long-standing policy has
been to only recognize individuals, and not entities, as
representatives. See 8 CFR 1292.1, 1292.4(a). Entities, unlike
attorneys or accredited representatives, are not subject to
disciplinary sanctions for violations of the Department's regulations.
See 8 CFR 1003.101(b). Therefore, EOIR would have difficulty regulating
the conduct of entities if they were registered as the official
representative on a case. With respect to commenters' concerns
regarding accountability in cases handled by law students, the
Department notes that law students' appearances are governed by
detailed regulations intended to ensure that the students receive
adequate supervision. Specifically, to appear before EOIR, a law
student must file a statement indicating, in part, ``that he or she is
participating, under the direct supervision of a faculty member,
licensed attorney, or accredited representative, in a legal aid program
or clinic.'' 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(2)(ii). The adjudicator must expressly
permit the student to appear, and the adjudicator ``may require that
[the] student be accompanied by the supervising faculty member,
attorney, or accredited representative.'' 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(2)(iv). In
addition, once the final rule takes effect, the supervising faculty
member (if he or she is also an attorney or accredited representative),
attorney, or accredited representative will have the option to
register.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

\17\ EOIR is not requiring those attorneys, accredited
representatives, and faculty members in supervisory roles to
register. There is no regulatory requirement that, when an alien is
represented through a law school clinic, the supervisor enter an
appearance before EOIR. In addition, with respect to supervisors who
are not attorneys or accredited representatives, there is no
specific regulatory provision under which they can appear before
EOIR. Even though EOIR is not requiring law students or supervisors
to register, EOIR anticipates that, in the future, its electronic
filing system will permit filing where the alien is represented
through a law school clinic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In light of its decision not to register law students, the
Department has reconsidered whether it should register all of the
``representatives'' outlined in 8 CFR 1292.1. Because attorneys and
accredited representatives account for the majority of individuals who
practice before EOIR and may represent

[[Page 19405]]

individuals without further authorization from an adjudicator, the
Department will require these individuals to register. However,
registering law graduates, reputable individuals, and accredited
foreign government officials would be of extremely limited value. Law
graduates and reputable individuals require prior permission to
practice from the adjudicator on each case, and reputable individuals
are ineligible to practice regularly before EOIR. See 8 CFR
1292.1(a)(2)(iv) and 1292.1(a)(3)(iv). Further, an accredited foreign
government official may only appear before EOIR when acting in his or
her official capacity and representing individuals who are from his or
her country. See 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(5).
Because the Department has decided to require registration of only
attorneys and accredited representatives, it is no longer appropriate,
as originally proposed, to amend the definition of ``representative''
at 8 CFR 1001.1(j) to state that all representatives must be
registered. Instead, it is necessary to amend 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(4) so
that the regulations will specifically require registration of only
accredited representatives, and not other types of representatives.\18\
Due to this change, the Department will amend the parallel provision
concerning attorneys at 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(1), rather than the regulatory
definition of attorney at 8 CFR 1001.1(f).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

\18\ This final rule does not impose any new duties on or amend
the regulations at 8 CFR part 1292 governing reputable individuals,
law graduates, or accredited foreign government officials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment. One commenter suggested that law firms should be able to
register rather than the individual attorneys employed by the law firm.
Response. As indicated above with regard to registration of law
clinics, EOIR has a long-standing policy of recognizing only
individuals as the attorney or representative of record for an alien.
The reasons stated for declining to permit law clinics to register are
equally applicable to law firms.
Comment. One commenter was concerned that EOIR would publicly
disclose the information that it collects from attorneys and
representatives during the registration process. The commenter also
indicated that attorneys and representatives should not have to provide
their home addresses or other private or personal information to EOIR.
Response. The information that EOIR will collect under this
regulation is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974. See 5 U.S.C. 552a.
The collected information will be part of a published system of records
established pursuant to the Privacy Act. See 69 FR 26179 (May 11,
2004). EOIR may disclose information under the routine uses specified
in the system of records notice. 69 FR at 26179-26180.
The Department may amend the system of records notice related to
the information collected for the registry and may publish additional
routine uses. One such routine use, as described further below, may
involve the disclosure on EOIR's Web site of the name and business
address of each registrant so that the public will have notice of all
attorneys and accredited representatives who are registered to practice
before EOIR. The Department will publish any changes to the system of
records notice in the Federal Register.
The final rule requires that individuals provide some personal
information to EOIR. Attorneys and accredited representatives who
register must provide an address; however, this address should be the
address at which the registering individual normally receives business
correspondence. If the registering individual's home address also
serves as his or her business address, then the individual must provide
that address to EOIR. Likewise, attorneys and accredited
representatives who register must provide a business telephone number.
EOIR will also collect from attorneys and accredited
representatives their dates of birth. This information will not be
published, but is necessary for validation purposes and to
differentiate and identify individuals in the registry. There may be
numerous attorneys and accredited representatives with the same name.
This additional unique identifying information will assist EOIR in
properly authorizing individuals for inclusion in the registry and
communicating with the appropriate individual on a case. However, as
noted above, the Department has decided not to collect the last four
digits of registrants' Social Security numbers.
Comment. One commenter believes that registration will not assist
in stopping the unauthorized practice of law before EOIR. The commenter
stated that because Form EOIR-28 already requires attorneys to provide
bar admission information, immigration judges and the Board are able to
determine if an individual is authorized to practice without a
registry.
Response. The Department disagrees that a registry of attorneys and
accredited representatives will not assist in combating the
unauthorized practice of immigration law. The unauthorized practice of
immigration law, sometimes colloquially called ``notario'' fraud, is a
significant problem facing federal, state, and local regulators. The
Department is part of a national initiative to combat this problem.\19\
Electronic registration will help EOIR to combat notario fraud.
Specifically, as noted above, EOIR will require that, before a registry
account is approved and an EOIR ID issued, an attorney or accredited
representative must present EOIR with photo identification so that EOIR
can confirm his or her identity. There is currently no requirement that
attorneys and accredited representatives present photo identification
to EOIR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

\19\ On June 9, 2011, the U.S. Government launched a multi-
agency, nationwide initiative to combat immigration services scams.
The Department, including EOIR, along with the Department of
Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission, are leading this
effort. Additional information is available at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/press/2011/UPILJointRelease%2006092011.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A registry will provide EOIR adjudicators with a database of
individuals who are authorized to practice before them. EOIR will
require each registrant to provide his or her unique EOIR ID number on
any Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 that he or she files, to assist
adjudicators in more readily identifying the registrant's status.
Further, when EOIR eventually creates an electronic filing system, only
registered attorneys and accredited representatives will be able to
file documents electronically in cases. Finally, EOIR may provide a
list of names and business addresses of registered attorneys and
accredited representatives on its Internet Web site so that the public
can determine if the individual from whom they are seeking
representational services is in fact registered to practice before
EOIR. The Department invites public comment on whether it should
publish such a list on the Internet.
Comment. Two commenters suggested that requiring attorneys and
representatives to register with EOIR would have a negative effect on
pro bono representation of aliens. Both commenters expressed concerns
that registration would deter lawyers from pro bono practice if they
have never before practiced immigration law because they might believe
that registering is too burdensome.
Response. EOIR is committed to encouraging pro bono and low cost
representation of aliens. EOIR maintains and distributes to
unrepresented aliens a list of free legal services. See 8 CFR 1003.61
et seq. Further, EOIR has a program by which it officially recognizes
non-profit organizations and

[[Page 19406]]

accredits non-attorney members of those organizations to provide
representation to aliens for a nominal fee. 8 CFR 1292.2. Although a
pro bono attorney will need to register, it is a one-time event
consisting of a simple two-step process that can be accomplished
quickly, easily, and at no cost to the registrant.
The Department does not believe that pro bono representation will
be significantly affected by requiring registration. Attorneys are
familiar with the concept of having to be admitted to practice prior to
appearing before a tribunal. Therefore, attorneys who have never
practiced immigration law should expect that they may need to register
in order to practice before EOIR.
Further, attorneys wishing to appear on EOIR's list of free legal
services must apply to be placed on the list, see 8 CFR 1003.62,
1003.63, and recognized organizations that seek accreditation of non-
attorneys to practice before EOIR must apply for that accreditation.
See 8 CFR 1292.2(d); Matter of EAC, Inc., 24 I&N Dec. 563 (BIA 2008).
There is no evidence that either of these requirements has
significantly affected pro bono representation. Likewise, the
Department does not expect that the registration process outlined in
this final rule will deter pro bono representation.
Comment. One commenter stated that the regulation should require
counsel for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to register with
EOIR.
Response. The purpose of the registry is to create a database of
all private attorneys and accredited representatives who appear before
EOIR. This registry will ensure that EOIR is only allowing authorized
individuals to practice before its immigration judges and the Board.
The reasons for registering private attorneys and accredited
representatives are not relevant to DHS counsel. DHS counsel are
Federal employees and may include any officer assigned to represent DHS
in any proceeding before an immigration judge or the Board. See 8 CFR
1001.1(s). Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that an unauthorized
individual would represent DHS at an EOIR proceeding. For these
reasons, the Department declines to include DHS personnel in the
registry.
Comment. One commenter suggested that the registration process
would inhibit robust representation of individuals in immigration
proceedings by allowing the government to track which lawyers are
taking ``controversial'' cases.
Response. EOIR disagrees that the registration process would
inhibit robust representation of individuals in immigration
proceedings. EOIR must register attorneys and representatives as an
initial step in the process of creating an electronic case access and
filing system. Registering attorneys and accredited representatives
will reduce scheduling errors and avoid confusion as to who is
representing a particular alien. In addition, registered attorneys and
accredited representatives will be able to update their registration
information electronically via the Internet and, in the future, access
EOIR's electronic filing system to submit and potentially retrieve
documents.\20\ These benefits will encourage, not detract from, robust
representation on behalf of individuals in immigration proceedings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

\20\ As noted above, EOIR intends to issue guidance, as needed,
to be followed when an attorney or accredited representative seeks
to change his or her address.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

EOIR is committed to providing fair and unbiased adjudications and
in issuing this rule has no intent to inhibit the representation of
aliens. The registration process would have no impact on ``the
practitioner's duty to represent zealously his or her client within the
bounds of the law.'' See 8 CFR 1003.102.

V. Regulatory Requirements

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Attorney General, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility
Act, 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. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).
The Department estimates that no more than 54,000 private attorneys
and accredited representatives will register electronically the first
year in order to practice before EOIR. Given that registration only
needs to be done once, EOIR anticipates that in each subsequent year,
the number of new initial registrants will be significantly lower than
the number of such registrants for the first year. While EOIR does not
keep statistics on the size of the firms and organizations of attorneys
and accredited representatives practicing before EOIR, many of these
attorneys and accredited representatives may be classified as or
employed by ``small entities'' as defined under section 601 of the
Regulatory Flexibility Act. In particular, the Department recognizes
that there are attorneys whose firms may be classified as ``small
businesses'' and, thus, as ``small entities'' under section 601. For
example, there may be attorneys practicing before EOIR who are solo
practitioners or employed by firms with 2 to 30 people. There are also
non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar
organizations recognized to practice before EOIR under 8 CFR 1292 who
employ accredited representatives. Some of these recognized
organizations may also be classified as ``small organizations'' and,
thus, as ``small entities'' under section 601.
Although the exact number of law firms and recognized organizations
that may be classified as ``small entities'' is not known, the
Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant adverse
economic impact on a substantial number of these entities. Registering
electronically with EOIR will be a simple, routine process similar to
registering online for a library card or other similar services. In
order to register, attorneys and accredited representatives will need
to access the Internet and complete an electronic registration
providing the following information: name, business address(es),
business telephone number(s), date of birth, email address, bar
admission information (if applicable), and recognized organization (if
applicable). Prior to approving a registry account and issuing an EOIR
ID, EOIR will also require registrants to validate their identities by
presenting photo identification in person. Completion of the
registration process, including registering online and presenting photo
identification for identity validation, will take approximately 10
minutes for each registrant and only needs to be completed once.
There will be no financial costs to attorneys or accredited
representatives to register. EOIR will not assess a fee to register.
Most attorneys and accredited representatives practicing before EOIR
currently have Internet access in order to conduct legal research,
communicate with clients, access government resources, and submit
filings to Federal courts of appeal and DHS; therefore, they will not
need to incur any new costs in order to obtain access. Consequently,
the Department believes that there will not be a significant adverse
economic impact on the great majority of registrants.
As described below in the certification under Executive Orders
12866 and 13563, the Department believes that such registration will
economically benefit registrants. By creating a registry in which each
attorney or accredited representative is individually and uniquely
identified, EOIR will be able to improve its correspondence with
registrants regarding immigration matters,

[[Page 19407]]

including scheduling matters before EOIR. This will reduce the
likelihood that attorneys and accredited representatives will need to
incur costs in communicating with clients and EOIR regarding
incorrectly scheduled hearings. In addition, registration ultimately
will enable an electronic filing system that will reduce the time and
expense presently incurred with paper filings. Attorneys and accredited
representatives will reduce the costs associated with purchasing paper
and printing supplies to prepare paper-based forms and petitions and
mailing such filings to EOIR and government counsel.
Therefore, the Department certifies that this rule will not have a
significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of 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 one 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 in section 251 of the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. See 5
U.S.C. 804. As discussed in the certification under the Regulatory
Flexibility Act, attorneys and accredited representatives will not be
assessed a fee to register and, as Internet access in the legal field
is ubiquitous, most will not need to incur any new costs in order to
obtain access to the Internet. Thus, 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 enterprises to compete with foreign-based
enterprises in domestic and export markets.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Regulatory Planning and Review

The final rule is considered by the Department of Justice to be a
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section
3(f)(4), Regulatory Planning and Review. Accordingly, the regulation
has been submitted to OMB for review. The Department certifies that
this regulation has been drafted in accordance with the principles of
Executive Order 12866, section 1(b), and Executive Order 13563.
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs
and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits
(including potential economic, environmental, public health, and safety
effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563
emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits,
reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility.\21\
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\21\ Following the issuance of Executive Order 13563, the
Department issued its ``Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis
of Existing Rules'' (Plan) on May 18, 2011, identifying several
regulations that it plans to review. See Plan, available online at
http://www.justice.gov/open/preliminary-doj-rr-plan.pdf. In a
separate rulemaking, the Department will address the proposed
amendments that it is considering as part of the retrospective
review under the Plan. Although this rulemaking addressing EOIR's
registry is not part of the Department's retrospective review, it is
consistent with the goals of that review. Specifically, it will
improve the immigration courts' and Board's ability to function
efficiently and, as the first step toward electronic filing, it will
lead to major benefits for attorneys and accredited representatives
who practice before EOIR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This rule establishes procedures for private attorneys and
accredited representatives to register electronically with EOIR as a
condition of representing aliens before immigration judges and the
Board. Requiring attorneys and accredited representatives to register
electronically with EOIR is a necessary precursor to implementing an
electronic case access and filing system.
The registration of attorneys and accredited representatives will
greatly benefit EOIR. Through the registration process, EOIR will
ensure that each attorney or accredited representative will be
individually identified and associated with the registration
information that the attorney or accredited representative will provide
during registration. This will reduce errors concerning an attorney's
or accredited representative's correct mailing address and avoid
confusion as to who is representing a particular alien. EOIR will
collect from each authorized registrant a unique UserID and password
that will permit registrants to access the registry in order to update
their registration information online and, in the future, to access
EOIR's electronic filing system. Further, EOIR will use the collected
information to assign a unique EOIR ID number to each registrant. EOIR
will require each registrant to provide his or her unique EOIR ID
number on any Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 that he or she files to
assist adjudicators in more readily identifying the registrant's
status.
An online registration process will be required for registration.
For the initial registration, attorneys and accredited representatives
will be required to complete an electronic registration in which they
must provide the following information: name, business address(es),
business telephone number(s), date of birth, email address, bar
admission information (if applicable), and recognized organization (if
applicable).
The Department estimates that no more than 54,000 attorneys and
accredited representatives will register electronically the first year.
Given that registration only needs to be done once, EOIR anticipates
that in each subsequent year, the number of initial registrants will be
significantly lower than the number of such registrants for the first
year. For each registrant, completion of the registration process,
including registering online and presenting photo identification in
person for identity validation, will take approximately 10 minutes.
There is no fee to register. Consequently, the Department believes that
the costs to attorneys and accredited representatives to complete the
registration process with EOIR will be nominal.
The registration of attorneys and accredited representatives will
greatly benefit registrants. The registry will ensure that each
attorney or accredited representative is individually and uniquely
identified and associated with the registration information that the
attorney or accredited representative will provide during registration.
This will increase efficiency by reducing system errors in scheduling
matters and providing improved notice to attorneys and accredited
representatives. In addition, registration ultimately will enable an
electronic filing system that will reduce the time and expense
presently incurred with paper filings.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

This rule 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 section 6 of
Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a
federalism summary impact statement.

[[Page 19408]]

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a)
and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Department of Justice has submitted a request for approval of a
new information collection instrument to OMB for review in accordance
with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. The proposed new
information collection was published and comments regarding the
collection were requested in the notice of proposed rulemaking in 2003
in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.11. See 68 FR 75160, 75163. The proposed
new information collection is republished in this rule to obtain
comments from the public and affected agencies. Comments are encouraged
and will be accepted for sixty days in conjunction with the final rule.
EOIR will not commence the proposed new information collection until it
has satisfied its obligations under the PRA.
If you have any suggestions or comments, especially on the
estimated public burden or associated response time, or need a copy of
the proposed new information collection instrument with instructions or
additional information, please contact the Department as noted above.
Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies
concerning the proposed new information collection instrument are
encouraged.
Comments on this issue should address one or more of the following
four points: (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including
whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy
of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of
information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions
used; (3) how the Department could enhance the quality, utility, and
clarity of the information to be collected and (4) how the Department
could minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who
are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic
submission of responses).
The new information collection instrument sponsored by the
Department will apply to practitioners and has been designated as
``Attorney and Accredited Representative Registration Before the
Executive Office for Immigration Review.'' The new collection will be
administered through electronic means exclusively.
The collected information will be used to approve a unique UserID
and password permitting registrants to access the registry in order to
update their registration information online and, in the future, to
access EOIR's electronic filing system. Further, EOIR will use the
collected information to assign a unique EOIR ID number to each
registrant. EOIR will require each registrant to provide his or her
unique EOIR ID number on any Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 that he or
she files to assist adjudicators in more readily identifying the
registrant's status.
The Department estimates an average response time for the new
information collection instrument at 10 minutes per response (including
registering online and presenting photo identification to EOIR for
identity validation), with a total number of respondents of no more
than 54,000 individuals for the first year. This figure includes those
currently practicing before EOIR. Given that registration only needs to
be done once, EOIR anticipates that in each subsequent year, the number
of initial registrants (i.e., new attorneys who seek to appear before
EOIR) will be significantly lower than the number of such registrants
for the first year. The total public burden associated with the new
collection is no more than 9,000 burden hours for the first year. EOIR
anticipates burden hours in future years to be significantly lower than
in the first year.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 1292

Administrative practice and procedures, Immigration, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 1292 of title 8 of
the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1292--REPRESENTATION AND APPEARANCES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1292 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1252b, 1362; 6 U.S.C. 521, 522.

0
2. Amend Sec. 1292.1 by:
0
a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(4); and by
0
b. Adding paragraph (f), to read as follows:


Sec. 1292.1 Representation of others.

(a) * * *
(1) Attorneys in the United States. Any attorney as defined in
Sec. 1001.1(f) of this chapter and who, once the registration
requirements in paragraph (f) of this section have taken effect, is
registered to practice with the Executive Office for Immigration
Review.
* * * * *
(4) Accredited representatives. A person representing an
organization described in Sec. 1292.2 of this chapter who has been
accredited by the Board, and who, once the registration requirements in
paragraph (f) of this section have taken effect, is registered to
practice with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
* * * * *
(f) Registration requirement for attorneys and accredited
representatives. The Director or his designee is authorized to
register, and establish procedures for registering, attorneys and
accredited representatives, specified in paragraph (a) of this section,
as a condition of practice before immigration judges or the Board of
Immigration Appeals. Such registration procedures will include a
requirement for electronic registration and that each registrant
validate his or her identity by presenting photo identification. The
Director or his designee may administratively suspend from practice
before the immigration judges and the Board any attorney or accredited
representative who fails to provide the following required registration
information: name, business address(es), business telephone number(s),
date of birth, email address, bar admission information (if
applicable), and recognized organization (if applicable), or who, after
having provided that information, fails to present photo identification
or comply with any other validation requirements implemented by the
Director. After such a system has been established, an immigration
judge may, under extraordinary and rare circumstances, permit an
unregistered attorney or accredited representative to appear at one
hearing if the immigration judge first acquires from the attorney or
accredited representative, on the record, the required registration
information. An unregistered attorney or accredited representative who
is permitted to appear at a hearing in such circumstances must complete
the electronic registration process without delay after the hearing at
which he or she is permitted to appear.

Dated: March 22, 2013.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 2013-07526 Filed 3-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-30-P