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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: October 11, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 197)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 51819-51821]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11oc01-1]                         
========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________
This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.
========================================================================
[[Page 51819]]

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

8 CFR Part 204

[INS No. 2106-00]
RIN 1115-AG01

Special Immigrant Visas for Fourth Preference Employment-Based 
Broadcasters

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: This interim rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service's (Service) regulations by establishing the procedure under 
which the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States 
Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), or a BBG grantee organization, 
may file special fourth preference immigrant petitions for foreign 
language alien broadcasters. This rule explains the requirements that 
alien broadcasters must meet in order to be the beneficiary of an 
immigrant visa petition. This regulatory change is necessary so that 
the BBG can fulfill its statutory obligation to broadcast 
internationally on behalf of the United States Government.

DATES: Effective date: This interim rule is effective November 13, 
2001.
    Comment date: Written comments must be submitted on or before 
December 10, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Written comments must be submitted, in triplicate, to the 
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4034, Washington, DC 
20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference the INS number 2106-
00 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection 
at this location by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an 
appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Howie, Business and Trade 
Services Branch, Adjudications Division, Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 3040, Washington, DC 20536, telephone 
(202) 353-8177.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 203 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act) 
provides for the allocation of preference visas for both family and 
employment-based immigrants. The fourth preference employment-based 
category (EB-4) allows for the immigration of a variety of aliens who 
possess various specialized job skills or abilities. See section 
203(b)(4) of the Act. The Act at section 101(a)(27) also offers 
definitions of the various jobs or professions that aliens must hold or 
possess in order to qualify for the EB-4 category.

Legislative Authority

    On November 22, 2000, the President approved enactment of the 
Special Immigrant Status For Certain United States International 
Broadcasting Employees Act (IBE Act), Public Law 106-536. Section 1 of 
the IBE Act amends section 101(a)(27) of the Act by adding a new 
subparagraph (M). The amendment establishes a special fourth preference 
employment-based immigrant category for immigrants seeking to enter the 
United States to work as a broadcaster in the United States for the BBG 
or a BBG grantee. (Currently, BBG grantees are Radio Free Asia, Inc., 
and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) This interim rule is 
necessary to codify the provisions of the IBE Act and to put into place 
procedures for the BBG, its grantees and Service officers to follow.

Why Does the BBG Need Alien Broadcasters?

    The BBG and its grantees are charged by Congress to broadcast 
internationally on behalf of the United States Government. This 
requires that the BBG attract and retain a large number of foreign 
language broadcasters. These broadcasters must have the unique 
combination of native fluency in the broadcast language combined with 
an in-depth knowledge of the people, history, and culture of the 
broadcast area. Historically, the BBG has experienced difficulty in 
finding and employing members of the domestic workforce possessing this 
unusual combination of skills to meet the United States Government's 
international broadcasting needs.
    By creating a new special EB-4 category, the IBE Act allows the BBG 
to directly petition for alien broadcasters. Being able to offer 
immigrant status to an alien broadcaster and his or her spouse and 
children may assist the BBG in fulfilling its obligation as the 
international broadcasting conduit for the United States Government.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Visas That May Be Issued to Alien 
Broadcasters Petitioned for by the BBG or Its Grantees?

    Yes, the IBE Act plainly stipulates a yearly limit of 100 visas 
available to the BBG and its grantees for alien broadcasters. The 
accompanying spouse and children of alien broadcasters are not counted 
towards this yearly limit. See section 203(b)(4) of the Act.

How Does the Service Define the Term ``Broadcaster?''

    In order for the BBG and its grantees to meet their Congressional 
charge of broadcasting internationally on behalf of the United States 
Government, the Service consulted with the BBG to identify what 
positions within the BBG or its grantees fall under the term 
``broadcaster.'' To that end, this rule describes the term 
``broadcaster'' as encompassing: reporters, writers, translators, 
editors, producers or announcers for news broadcasts; hosts for news 
broadcasts, news analysis, editorial and other broadcast features; or 
news analysis specialists. Technicians and other support personnel are 
not included in the definition since such positions do not call for the 
skills that prompted the new special immigrant category to be created. 
See 8 CFR 204.13(a).

What Form Should the BBG or a BBG Grantee Use To Petition for 
Qualified Alien Broadcasters and What Evidence Should Be Submitted?

    Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant 
has been designated as the appropriate petition for other fourth 
preference employment-based immigrant

[[Page 51820]]

categories. The BBG and its grantees shall also use Form I-360 to 
petition for EB-4 alien broadcasters. See 8 CFR 204.13(c).
    In addition to the information required on Form I-360, the interim 
rule at 8 CFR 204.13(d) requires the BBG or its grantee to submit an 
attestation that reflects the job title and a full description of the 
job to be performed and the experience held by the alien broadcaster, 
including the number of years, if any, the alien has been performing 
the duties that relate to the prospective position.

Request for Comments

    The Service is seeking public comments regarding all aspects of 
this interim rule. The Service welcomes suggestions concerning the 
information contained within this interim rule.

Good Cause Exception

    The Service's implementation of this rule as an interim rule, with 
provisions for post-promulgation public comments, is based on the 
``good cause'' exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3). The 
reason and necessity for immediate implementation of this interim rule 
without prior notice and comment is that the new legislation became 
effective retroactive to enactment (October 1, 2000), and thus 
immediately requires the Service to establish a petitioning procedure 
for this new category of fourth preference employment-based immigrants. 
Issuing an interim rule allows the regulatory provisions to become 
effective and allows the BBG and its grantees to begin taking advantage 
of the new provisions without delay.
    The Service notes that the BBG has been consulted and has been 
provided draft versions of this interim rule for review and comment. 
Comments and suggestions from this Government entity have been included 
in this rulemaking. The Service also notes that the amendment is clear 
that the BBG and its grantees are the only organizations that are 
eligible to take advantage of this new category of special employment-
based immigrants. They are the only organizations that will be able to 
petition for this category of broadcasters.
    The Commissioner has determined that because this rule establishes 
an immigrant preference category that only the BBG (an independent and 
autonomous Federal entity) can use, that public comment is unnecessary. 
Further, because the BBG broadcasts internationally on behalf of the 
United States, it would be contrary to the public interest to delay 
allowing the BBG to use this new congressionally-established preference 
category to more effectively carry out its public mission. Therefore, 
there is good cause for dispensing with the requirements of prior 
notice. However, the Service welcomes public comment on this interim 
rule and will address those comments prior to issuance of the final 
rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in 
accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has 
reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that the rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. This interim rule provides a special process that 
benefits individuals who will be coming to the United States to work as 
broadcasters. It does not affect small entities as that term is defined 
in 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

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 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 13132

    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.

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 of 1995

    The supplemental evidence requirements contained in Sec. 204.13(d) 
that must be submitted with the Form I-360 are considered information 
collections. Since this interim rule is effective 30 days from the date 
of publication in the Federal Register, the Service is using emergency 
review procedures for review and clearance by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 
of 1995.
    The OMB approval has been requested by October 26, 2001. If 
granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. Comments 
concerning the information collection should be directed to: Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB Desk Officer for the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of Management and 
Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.
    During the first 60 days of this same period a regular review of 
this information will also be undertaken. Written comments are 
encouraged and will be accepted until December 10, 2001. Your comments 
should address one or more of the following points:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who

[[Page 51821]]

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 Service, in calculating the overall burden this requirement 
will place upon the public, notes that a maximum of 100 broadcasters 
may petition for these EB-4 visas annually. The Service also estimates 
that it will take broadcasters approximately 2 hours to comply with the 
new requirements as noted in this interim rule. This amounts to 200 
total burden hours.
    Organizations and individuals interested in submitting comments 
regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this information 
collection requirement, including suggestions for reducing the burden, 
should direct them to: Immigration and Naturalization Service, 
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, 425 I Street NW., 
Room 4034, Washington, DC 20536.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 204

    Administrative practice and procedures, Aliens, Employment, 
Immigration, Petitions.

    Accordingly, part 204 of chapter I of title 8 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 204--IMMIGRANT PETITIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 204 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1151, 1153, 1154, 1182, 1186a, 
1255, 1641; 8 CFR part 2.

    2. Section 204.13 is added to read as follows:

Sec. 204.13  How can the International Broadcasting Bureau of the 
United States Broadcasting Board of Governors petition for a fourth 
preference special immigrant broadcaster?

    (a) Which broadcasters qualify? Under section 203(b)(4) of the Act, 
the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States Broadcasting 
Board of Governors (BBG), or a grantee of the BBG, may petition for an 
alien (and the alien's accompanying spouse and children) to work as a 
broadcaster for the BBG or a grantee of the BBG in the United States. 
For the purposes of this section, the terms:
    BBG grantee means Radio Free Asia, Inc (RFA) or Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty, Inc. (RFE/RL); and
    Broadcaster means a reporter, writer, translator, editor, producer 
or announcer for news broadcasts; hosts for news broadcasts, news 
analysis, editorial and other broadcast features; or a news analysis 
specialist. The term broadcaster does not include individuals 
performing purely technical or support services for the BBG or a BBG 
grantee.
    (b) Is there a yearly limit on the number of visas available for 
alien broadcasters petitioned by the BBG or a BBG grantee?
    (1) Under the provisions of section 203(b)(4) of the Act, a yearly 
limit of 100 fourth preference special immigrant visas are available to 
aliens intending to work as broadcasters in the United States for the 
BBG or a BBG grantee. These 100 visas are available in any fiscal year 
beginning on or after October 1, 2000.
    (2) The alien broadcaster's accompanying spouse and children are 
not counted towards the 100 special broadcaster visa limit.
    (c) What form should the BBG use to petition for these special 
alien broadcasters? The BBG or a BBG grantee shall use Form I-360, 
Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, to petition 
for an alien broadcaster. The petition must be submitted with the 
correct fee noted on the form. All BBG petitions for alien broadcasters 
shall be submitted to the Vermont Service Center for processing.
    (d) Will the BBG need to submit supplemental evidence with Form I-
360 for alien broadcasters?
    (1) All Form I-360 petitions submitted by the BBG or a BBG grantee 
on behalf of an alien for a broadcaster position with the BBG or BBG 
grantee must be accompanied by a signed and dated supplemental 
attestation that contains the following information about the 
prospective alien broadcaster:
    (i) The job title and a full description of the job to be 
performed; and
    (ii) The broadcasting expertise held by the alien, including how 
long the alien has been performing duties that relate to the 
prospective position or a statement as to how the alien possesses the 
necessary skills that make him or her qualified for the broadcasting-
related position within the BBG or BBG grantee.

    Dated: October 4, 2001.
James W. Ziglar,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 01-25478 Filed 10-10-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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