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[Federal Register: July 9, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 131)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 45402-45410]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09jy02-18]                         

========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================



[[Page 45402]]



DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

8 CFR Parts 103, 212, and 245

[INS No. 2124-01; AG Order No. 2596-2002]
RIN 1115-AG14

 
Adjustment of Status for Certain Aliens From Vietnam, Cambodia, 
and Laos in the United States; Waiver of Criminal Grounds of 
Inadmissibility

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule proposes to amend the Department of Justice 
(Department) regulations to provide for the adjustment of status to 
that of lawful permanent resident for certain aliens from Vietnam, 
Cambodia, and Laos. On November 6, 2000, Public Law 106-429, the 
Foreign Operations Appropriations Act of 2001, was signed into law. 
Section 586 of Public Law 106-429 provides for the adjustment of status 
for certain aliens from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Eligible 
applicants must have been physically present in the United States both 
prior to and on October 1, 1997, and inspected and paroled into the 
United States before October 1, 1997, either from Vietnam under the 
Orderly Departure Program, from a refugee camp in East Asia, or from a 
displaced persons camp administered by the United Nations in Thailand. 
This rule proposes to add regulations governing eligibility, evidence, 
and application and adjudication procedures, and also to add a new 
section in the regulations that lists the types of evidence an alien 
may use to demonstrate his or her physical presence in the United 
States on a specific date. Finally, this rule proposes a general 
amendment to the regulatory standards for waivers of the criminal 
grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(h) of the Act.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before September 9, 
2002.

ADDRESSES: Please submit written comments to the Director, Regulations 
and Forms Services Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 
425 I Street NW, Room 4034, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper 
handling, please reference INS number 2124-01 on your correspondence. 
Comments may also be submitted to the Service electronically at this 
address: insreg@usdoj.gov. When submitting comments electronically 
please include INS No. 2124-01 in the subject box. Comments are 
available for public inspection at the above address by calling (202) 
514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions regarding the Service, 
contact Michael Valverde, Residence and Status Branch, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Room 3214, Washington, DC 
20536, Telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Is Section 568 of Public Law 106-429?

    On November 6, 2000, the President signed Public Law 106-429, the 
Foreign Operations Appropriations Act of 2001. Section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429 provides for adjustment of status to that of lawful 
permanent resident for 5,000 eligible natives or citizens of Vietnam, 
Cambodia, and Laos.

Why Is This Rule a Proposed Rule?

    The Department of Justice (Department) is issuing this rule as a 
proposed rule in order to ensure that all aliens eligible for benefits 
under section 586 of Public law 106-429 have an equal opportunity to 
obtain those benefits. Section (a)(1) of Public Law 106-429 sets forth 
a time-limited application period (3 years from the date the rule is 
promulgated) and section (d) limits the number of total adjustments. 
The Department believes it is necessary to solicit comments on the 
regulations implementing this law prior to making the regulations 
effective. The Department seeks comments on all aspects of the proposed 
regulations, including, but not limited to, criteria for eligibility, 
evidentiary standards, counting methodology, application procedures, 
and appeal rights. After the Department has reviewed the comments, the 
regulations will be finalized via a final rule published in the Federal 
Register, and the application period will begin.

Who Is Eligible To Adjust Status to That of Lawful Permanent Resident 
Under Section 586 of Public Law 106-429?

    The Department's proposed regulations will codify the eligibility 
requirements for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 
106-429 at 8 CFR 245.21(a). To be eligible, an alien must demonstrate 
that he or she:
    (1) Is a citizen or native of Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos;
    (2) Was inspected and paroled into the United States before October 
1, 1997;
    (3) Was physically present in the United States prior to and on 
October 1, 1997;
    (4) Was paroled into the United States:
     From Vietnam under the auspices of the Orderly Departure 
Program (ODP);
     From a refugee camp in East Asia; or
     From a displaced persons camp administered by the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand.
    (5) Applies for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429 during the period beginning on the ``effective date'' 
specified when this proposed rule is published as a final rule, and 
ending 3 years from the effective date, and pays all appropriate fees; 
and
    (6) Is otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa and 
otherwise admissible to the United States for permanent residence 
except for those grounds of inadmissibility that do not apply or that 
are waived.

What Is the Process of Adjustment of Status for Refugees?

    The adjustment process for refugees is simple: One year after the 
alien has entered the United States as a refugee, he or she can apply 
to adjust status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) (see also 8 CFR 
209.1). For those qualified aliens who have been denied refugee status 
but who fall into the Lautenberg category and are paroled into the 
United States as such, the process is similar--they can apply for LPR 
one year after

[[Page 45403]]

entry. (For a discussion of the Lautenberg category, see the section 
below ``What is the Lautenberg Amendment?'' See also, 8 CFR 245.7)
    This rule, by contrast, covers aliens who are not eligible to 
adjust to LPR status under either of the above provisions. This rule is 
intended to benefit aliens whose relatives have died or emigrated or 
never formed a qualifying relationship with the alien, those aliens 
paroled into the United States who have no relatives (such as former 
employees of the United States government), and those who were never 
formally denied refugee status. For the vast majority of the rule's 
beneficiaries, there is no route to adjustment other than this 
provision.

Is There a Limit on the Number of Adjustments Under Section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429?

    Yes, under section 586 of Public Law 106-429, the Attorney General 
has the authority to adjust the status of 5,000 aliens. Generally, the 
Department will adjudicate applications in the order in which they are 
submitted. The Service will assign a number to every application 
properly filed. The number will be assigned in ascending order, 
according to the filing date, except that, as discussed below, the 
Service will assign a number only if and when a necessary waiver is 
granted.
    In the exercise of its discretion, the Service will adjudicate 
applications that do not require adjudication of a waiver to overcome 
any criminal, fraud, immigration violator, citizenship ineligibility, 
or illegal voting grounds of inadmissibility before those adjustment 
applications that do require such a waiver adjudication. These grounds 
of inadmissibility are identified in Sec. 245.21(m)(3). The Department 
is of the view that applicants who seek waivers of such grounds have, 
by definition, violated the law in some way and are requesting the 
Attorney General to use his discretion to excuse that violation. Such 
applicants are not entitled to be given the same priority as those who 
have not engaged in conduct that would render them inadmissible to the 
United States and, accordingly, the Service will assign a priority to 
such applications according to the date that the requested waivers are 
granted, if that is the result, rather than the filing date of the 
application for adjustment.
    Each alien granted adjustment of status under section 586 will 
count toward the 5,000 limit. The Service will monitor the total number 
of approvals in order to ensure that all applications pending appeal 
that are placed earlier in the queue could be approved within the 5,000 
cap if the applications are granted on appeal. The Department's 
regulations concerning the 5,000 limit are at 8 CFR 245.21(m). The 
Department recommends that eligible aliens submit their applications as 
soon as possible after the final rule is promulgated in order to 
maximize their likelihood of getting a space within the 5,000 limit.

When Can Aliens File for Adjustment of Status Under Section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429?

    Aliens may apply during the 3-year application period, which 
commences on the effective date of any final regulations promulgated 
pursuant to section 586 of Public Law 106-429. Applications received 
prior to the beginning of the application period will be rejected and 
returned to the applicant. The Department's proposed regulations 
regarding the application period are at 8 CFR 245.21(b)(1).

What Was the Orderly Departure Program (ODP)?

    The ODP originated in 1979 under the initiative of the UNHCR in 
order to provide a safe, legal alternative to dangerous departures by 
boat, or over land, from Vietnam. Individuals who sought to leave 
Vietnam registered with the ODP office, situated in Bangkok, Thailand, 
where a case file was opened. Individuals, and close family members, 
were assigned tracking numbers, known as IV files. The first legal 
departure from Vietnam via the ODP was in December 1980.
    Within the ODP, there were three subprograms: (1) The Regular 
Subprogram, which was reserved for applicants seeking family 
reunification and other individuals who demonstrated close connections 
with United States policies and programs prior to 1975; (2) the 
Reeducation Detainee Subprogram (which came to be known as the HO 
subprogram); and (3) the Amerasian Subprogram, for individuals who were 
fathered by Americans.
    As a humanitarian response to an increasing demand for emigration 
from Vietnam, it was Service policy to offer Public Interest Parole to 
certain classes of applicants from within the ODP, including those who 
had been denied refugee status and those who were the beneficiaries of 
non-current relative visa petitions.
    Many such parolees were ineligible, subsequent to arrival in the 
United States, to adjust their status under the provisions of section 
599E of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related 
Appropriations Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-167) (the Lautenberg 
Amendment).

What Is the Lautenberg Amendment?

    The Lautenberg Amendment is a means for aliens from certain nations 
(including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) who have been denied refugee 
status but who are nevertheless granted a Public Interest Parole into 
the United States to adjust status to LPR. The beneficiaries of section 
586 do not fall into this category because they were never considered 
for, and thus never denied, refugee status.
    Parole status is technically a grant of entry into the United 
States and is different than admission. Aliens who have been admitted 
to a specific immigrant or nonimmigrant status (LPR, Refugee, H-1B, 
etc) may only be removed if the Service meets its burden of proof to 
show that the alien is deportable. In contrast, an alien in parole 
status is still technically facing admission, and if the Service places 
such an alien in removal proceedings, the burden of proof lies with the 
alien to show admissibility.
    The Lautenberg Amendment specifically authorized individuals to 
apply for adjustment of status 1 year after arrival in the United 
States as a parolee. However, the language of the Lautenberg Amendment 
limited the ability to apply for adjustment to those individuals who 
had been paroled subsequent to a denial of refugee status. Therefore, 
individuals who were paroled as the beneficiary of a non-current 
relative visa petition could not apply for adjustment of status until a 
visa number became available. Additionally, dependent family members 
were paroled in the interest of maintaining family unity. These latter 
individuals have been left in a virtual indefinite parolee status 
because they were not beneficiaries of a specific relative visa 
petition.
    The policy of offering Public Interest Parole ceased on September 
30, 1994, although individuals previously authorized parole continued 
to travel to the United States after the date of cessation.

How Do Applicants Demonstrate That They Were Paroled Under the Auspices 
of the ODP?

    Persons eligible for the benefits of section 586 of Public Law 106-
429 because they were paroled under the auspices of the ODP may locate 
their assigned tracking number, the IV file number, in several places. 
The number appears on the parole authorization letter, the 
transportation letter, or the Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record,

[[Page 45404]]

issued to them. If the applicant no longer has any of these documents, 
the Department has a complete database for all individuals processed 
under the ODP and can verify an applicant's claim if requested in 
writing along with the Form I-485.
    Verifying the alien's claim that he or she entered the United 
States under the auspices of the ODP should not add a significant time 
period to the total time it takes to adjudicate the application. There 
is no fee for making this request if it is made as part of the 
application for benefits under this provision.

How Do Applicants Demonstrate That They Were Paroled From a Refugee 
Camp in East Asia?

    Applicants who were paroled under different auspices than the ODP 
will have an identifiable United States Refugee Program (USRP) file 
number. That file number is prefaced with the first initial of the 
country of first asylum, e.g., TXXXXXX = Thailand; SXXXXXX = Singapore; 
IXXXXXX = Indonesia, and so forth. The number appears on the Form I-94 
issued to them.

How Do Applicants Demonstrate That They Were Paroled From a Displaced 
Persons Camp in Thailand That Was Administered by the UNHCR?

    This category comprises primarily Cambodian nationals who were 
initially in camps along the Thai-Cambodian border. These individuals 
should have a unique USRP file number representing Thailand, i.e., 
TXXXXXX. Additionally, applicants from displaced persons camps would 
normally have the designation of HP-1, HP-2, or HP-3 on the Form I-94, 
or elsewhere in the Alien file (``A'' file). The ``A'' number and 
``HP'' designation appear on the Form I-94 issued to them.
    If the applicant no longer has his or her Form I-94, he or she may 
request the Department to do a search of its files to determine whether 
that alien ever received either number or designation in writing along 
with the Form I-485.

What Grounds of Inadmissibility Do Not Apply When Applying for 
Adjustment of Status Under Section 586 of Public Law 106-429?

    The grounds of inadmissibility found at section 212(a)(4) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), relating to public charge; 
(a)(5), relating to labor certification requirements and certifications 
for foreign healthcare workers; (a)(7)(A), relating to visa and travel 
documents; and (a)(9), relating to prior removals and unlawful 
presence, do not apply to applicants for adjustment of status under 
section 586 of Public Law 106-429.

What Grounds of Inadmissibility May Be Waived When Applying for 
Adjustment of Status Under Section 586 of Public Law 106-429?

    Section 586(c) of Public Law 106-429 authorizes the Attorney 
General to waive the grounds of inadmissibility found at section 
212(a)(1) of the Act, relating to health; (a)(6)(B), (a)(6)(C), and 
(a)(6)(F), relating to failure to attend removal proceedings, 
misrepresentation, and document fraud violations, respectively; 
(a)(8)(A), relating to citizenship ineligibilities; and (a)(10)(B) and 
(a)(10)(D), relating to guardians of helpless aliens and unlawful 
voting. This waiver may be granted by the Attorney General (or by the 
Service as the Attorney General's delegate), in the exercise of his 
discretion, to prevent extreme hardship to the applicant, or to his or 
her United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, 
son, or daughter.
    In addition to section 586(c), an individual seeking to adjust 
status under Public Law 106-429 may apply for any other immigrant 
waiver authorized under section 212 of the Act, if eligible. When a 
showing of extreme hardship is required for a waiver under any 
provision of section 212 of the Act, that hardship must be to one or 
more of the applicant's United States citizen or lawful permanent 
resident family members specified in that provision.
    In some cases, the section 212 waiver supplements the provisions of 
section 586(c), while in others, such as criminal cases, section 212(h) 
of the Act is the exclusive means of relief. For example, individuals 
who are inadmissible on any of the medical grounds of section 
212(a)(1)(A) of the Act have the option of applying for a waiver under 
section 212(g)(1),(2), or (3) of the Act, as applicable. Those 
individuals who are not eligible to apply under section 212(g) of the 
Act may apply for a waiver under section 586(c) of Public Law 106-429, 
if they can establish the requisite extreme hardship. In contrast, the 
waiver provision of section 586(c) does not include any of the criminal 
grounds of section 212(a)(2) of the Act; however, section 212(h) of the 
Act authorizes a waiver in limited cases.
    It is important to note that waivers of inadmissibility are granted 
in the discretion of the Attorney General. The Board of Immigration 
Appeals has held that, in assessing whether an applicant has met the 
burden that a waiver is warranted in the exercise of discretion, the 
adjudicator must balance adverse factors evidencing inadmissibility as 
a lawful permanent resident with the social and humane considerations 
presented to determine if the grant of relief appears to be in the best 
interests of the United States. Matter of Mendez-Moralez, 21 I&N Dec. 
296 (BIA 1996) (involving a waiver under section 212(h)(1)(B) of the 
Act). Establishment of extreme hardship and eligibility for a waiver 
requiring a showing of such hardship does not create an entitlement to 
the relief sought. Id.; Matter of Cervantes-Gonzalez, Int. Dec. 3380 
(BIA 1999). Extreme hardship, once established, is but one favorable 
discretionary factor to be considered. Id.
    Most recently, in the context of a case involving a waiver of a 
criminal ground of inadmissibility under section 209(c) of the Act, the 
Attorney General determined that favorable discretion should not be 
exercised for waivers involving violent or dangerous individuals, 
except in extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances 
include situations where the alien has established exceptional and 
extremely unusual hardship, or situations where there are overriding 
national security or foreign policy considerations. Nevertheless, 
depending on the gravity of the underlying offense, the equities 
presented in such extraordinary circumstances may still be 
insufficient. Matter of Jean, 23 I&N Dec. 373 (A.G. 2002).
    In view of these considerations, this proposed rule amends 8 CFR 
212.7 to provide a general rule that the Service will exercise 
discretion in favor of the applicant in section 212(h) waiver cases 
that involve violent or dangerous crimes only in extraordinary 
circumstances. Moreover, depending on the nature and severity of the 
underlying offense to be waived, the Attorney General retains the 
discretion to determine that the mere existence of extraordinary 
circumstances is insufficient to warrant the grant of a waiver.

How Does an Individual Apply for the Waiver?

    In order to obtain a waiver of one or more grounds of 
inadmissibility, an applicant must file Form I-601, Application for 
Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, with the Form I-485, Application to 
Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. As mentioned previously 
under the heading, ``Is there a limit on the number of adjustments 
under section 586 of Public Law 106-429?'', the Department may give 
preference to those applicants who do not need a waiver of 
inadmissibility over certain applicants who do.

[[Page 45405]]

Does an Applicant Have To Demonstrate That He or She Was Physically 
Present in the United States Prior to October 1, 1997?

    Yes, however an eligible applicant will be able to meet this 
requirement when he or she demonstrates that he or she was paroled into 
the United States via one of the three qualifying programs. The 
documentation demonstrating that the applicant was paroled into the 
United States via one of the three qualifying programs will contain a 
date. If the date of the alien's parole was prior to October 1, 1997, 
the Department will consider the applicant to have met the requirement 
that the applicant was physically present in the United States prior to 
October 1, 1997.

How Can an Applicant Demonstrate That He or She Was Physically Present 
in the United States on October 1, 1997?

    Applicants for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 
106-429 must submit, at the time they file the application for 
adjustment of status, evidence that they were physically present in the 
United States on October 1, 1997.
    The Act is silent as to the methods by which an applicant may 
demonstrate his or her physical presence in the United States on that 
date. Increasingly, adjustment of status provisions of the immigration 
laws are enacted with the requirement that applicants demonstrate their 
physical presence in the United States on a specific date (most 
recently, for example, the amendments to section 245(i) of the Act). 
The Department believes it is appropriate at this time to codify a 
single regulatory standard for demonstrating an alien's physical 
presence on a particular date. This is similar to the common standard 
for evidence, testimony, signature, and other requirements applicable 
to a wide range of applications and petitions. This rule adds a new 
Sec. 245.22 that would provide guidance to aliens who need to 
demonstrate physical presence in the United States on any specific date 
(cross-referenced in proposed Sec. 245.21(g)(2)). This new section 
regarding evidence largely corresponds to the existing regulations at 8 
CFR 245.15(i) for aliens who must demonstrate physical presence on a 
specific date for purposes of the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness 
Act of 1998, section 902 of Division A of Public Law 105-277 (HRIFA). 
The rule incorporates, in part, the forms of documentation accepted for 
HRIFA applicants regarding physical presence (8 CFR 245.15(i) and 
(j)(2)) and adopts them as examples of possible proof of physical 
presence for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-
429. The Department is also soliciting comments on what type of 
evidence can be best used to demonstrate an alien's physical presence 
in the United States for a specific date (in this case October 1, 
1997).

Are the Dependents of Aliens Eligible To Adjust Status Under Section 
586 of Public Law 106-429 Eligible To Adjust Status?

    Section 586 of Public law 106-429 does not provide for the 
derivative adjustment of status for the spouse and children of aliens 
who adjust status under this law. To obtain lawful permanent resident 
status under this law, the spouse or child must be eligible under the 
terms of this law in his or her own right, and must apply on his or her 
own behalf. To the extent possible, the Service will adjudicate 
applications from family members at the same time.
    If an alien who adjusts status to that of lawful permanent resident 
(LPR) under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 has an alien spouse, 
child, or unmarried son or daughter who is not eligible in his or her 
own right, the LPR may file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to 
begin the regular immigration process for the spouse, child, or 
unmarried son or daughter.

Where and How Do Eligible Aliens File for Adjustment of Status Under 
Section 586 of Public Law 106-429?

    When the regulations are effective and the 3-year application 
period begins, the Service will provide aliens eligible to adjust 
status to that of lawful permanent resident under section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429 with an address for the filing of Form I-485.
    Applicants must be physically present in the United States, and 
must submit the associated filing fee, currently $255 ($160 for 
applicants under 14 years of age), or request that the fee be waived 
pursuant to 8 CFR 103.7(c). Applicants ages 14 through 79 must also 
submit a $50 fingerprinting fee. Under Part 2, question h of Form I-
485, applicants must write ``INDOCHINESE PAROLEE P.L. 106-429'' to 
indicate that they are applying based on this provision.

Is an Alien Currently in Proceedings Eligible To Apply?

    An alien in proceedings who believes he or she is eligible for 
adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 may apply 
directly to the Service. In order to be eligible, however, an applicant 
for adjustment of status must be otherwise admissible to the United 
States. The Department notes that, depending on the alien's 
circumstances and the charges brought, the immigration proceedings may 
have an effect on the alien's admissibility. If an alien is found 
inadmissible on a ground that cannot be waived, the alien will not be 
eligible for adjustment of status under section 586.
    In order to maintain control of the adjudication of applicants 
under the 5,000 limit, this rule provides that the Service will 
adjudicate all of these cases, not the immigration judges, or the Board 
of Immigration Appeals. Accordingly, an alien who is currently in 
proceedings who alleges eligibility for adjustment of status under 
section 586 of Public Law 106-429 should contact Service counsel to 
request Service consent to the filing of a joint motion for 
administrative closure of the immigration proceedings while any 
application filed is pending with the Service. The Service will 
exercise its discretion on a case-by-case basis in determining whether 
to join in motions for administrative closure.

Is an Alien Who Already Is the Subject of a Final Order of Removal, 
Deportation, or Exclusion Eligible To Apply Under Section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429?

    An alien with a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion 
who is eligible for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429 is not precluded from filing an application for adjustment 
of status with the Service. In order to be eligible, however, an 
applicant for adjustment of status must be otherwise admissible to the 
United States, and the Department notes that many aliens who are the 
subject of a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal will be 
unable to satisfy that requirement. Only those aliens who have been 
found removable under circumstances that establish an alien's 
inadmissibility on a ground that may be waived under section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429 would be eligible for adjustment under this 
provision.
    Moreover, this rule contains a substantial general constraint on 
the exercise of discretion to grant waivers under section 212(h) of the 
Act relating to violent or dangerous crimes and provides that aliens 
who require a waiver of criminal and certain other grounds of 
inadmissibility may be accorded a priority date only as of the date of 
the granting of the necessary waivers, rather than the date of the 
filing of the application.
    Accordingly, this section does not automatically stay the order of 
removal, deportation, or exclusion. An eligible

[[Page 45406]]

alien may request that the district director with jurisdiction over his 
or her place of residence grant a stay of removal for the pendency of 
the application. The regulations governing such a request are found at 
8 CFR 241.6. Only the Service may grant such a stay relating to an 
application for adjustment of status under this section.
    If the Service approves the application for adjustment of status, 
the Service shall provide notice to the immigration judge or the Board. 
The filing of such notice will constitute the automatic re-opening of 
the alien's immigration proceedings, vacating the final removal order 
and terminating the re-opened proceedings.

How Can Applicants for Adjustment of Status Under Section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429 Obtain Employment Authorization While Their Application for 
Adjustment of Status Is Pending?

    Applicants may obtain employment authorization based on their 
pending Form I-485 by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment 
Authorization, and the $120 application fee unless the fee is waived. 
An applicant may submit Form I-765 simultaneously with the Form I-485 
or at any time while the Form I-485 is pending. If the Service approves 
Form I-765, the applicant will be issued an employment authorization 
document.

Will an Applicant Filing an Application for Adjustment of Status Under 
Section 586 of Public Law 106-429 With the Service Be Required To 
Appear for an Interview?

    The Service may require applicants for adjustment of status to 
appear for an interview, in the exercise of discretion.

Can an Applicant Travel Outside the United States While the Application 
Is Pending?

    This rule does not prevent applicants with pending applications for 
adjustment of status from traveling abroad while their application is 
pending. However, in order to be eligible to lawfully re-enter the 
United States and avoid the abandonment of the application for 
adjustment of status, the Department will require that the alien obtain 
advance permission to travel (known as advance parole) from the Service 
prior to departing the United States. To obtain advance parole, 
applicants need to submit Form I-131, Application for a Travel 
Document, along with the $110 filing fee.
    However, the Department notes that, if an alien under a final order 
of removal leaves the country, that would constitute a self-deportation 
unless the alien had previously been granted a waiver of any applicable 
grounds of inadmissibility before departing from the United States. 
Such an alien would need to obtain advance parole in addition to 
obtaining the necessary waivers of inadmissibility.

What Documentation Will Be Issued if the Adjustment of Status 
Application Is Approved?

    After processing of the Form I-485 is completed, the Service will 
mail a notice of the decision to the applicant. If the application has 
been approved, the Service will issue a notice of approval instructing 
an alien to go to a local INS office to fill out Form I-89, which 
collects the necessary information to produce the Form I-551. To obtain 
temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status, the applicant 
may present the original approval notice and his or her passport or 
other photo identification at his or her local Service office. The 
local Service office will issue temporary evidence of lawful permanent 
resident status after verifying the approval of the adjustment of 
status application. If the applicant is not in possession of an 
unexpired passport in which such temporary evidence may be endorsed, he 
or she should also submit two photographs meeting the Alien 
Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication System 
specifications described on Form M-378 so that the Service may prepare 
and issue alternate temporary evidence of lawful permanent residence 
status.

What Date Will Be Recorded as the ``Record of Permanent Residence'' for 
Aliens Granted Lawful Permanent Resident Status Under Section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429?

    Upon the approval of an application for adjustment of status, the 
Service will record the alien's admission for lawful permanent 
residence as of the date of the alien's inspection and parole before 
October 1, 1997, under the ODP, from a refugee camp in East Asia, or 
from a displaced persons camp administered by UNHCR in Thailand.

If the Service Denies an Alien's Application for Adjustment of Status 
Under Section 586 of Public Law 106-429, Is There an Appeal?

    Yes, the alien may appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office when 
the Service denies an application. Procedures are contained in 8 CFR 
103.3(a)(2).
    When an alien appeals the denial of his or her application to 
adjust status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429, he or she will 
retain the same spot in the adjustment queue, with respect to the 5,000 
limit on total adjustments under section 586 of Public Law 106-429. In 
other words, the Service will reserve space within the 5,000 limit on 
adjustments under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 for appellants who 
would have been able to adjust within the 5,000 limit had their 
applications been approved during the initial Service adjudication.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Attorney General, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by approving 
it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule would 
affect certain individuals from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos by 
implementing the adjustment of status provisions of section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429. This rule will have no effect on 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 251 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. 5 U.S.C. 804. 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 the United States-based companies to 
compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is considered by the Department of Justice, to be a 
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 
3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review. Accordingly, this rule has been 
submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

[[Page 45407]]

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

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirement (Form I-485) contained in 
this rule was previously approved for use by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB). The OMB control number for this information 
collection is 1115-0053.
    This proposed rule permits certain aliens from Vietnam, Cambodia, 
and Laos to adjust status. In addition to the evidence required by Form 
I-485, this rule at Sec. 245.21(g)(2) requires applicants to 
demonstrate that they were physically present in the United States on 
October 1, 1997 by supplying the evidence outlined in Sec. 245.22. This 
additional documentation is considered an information collection.
    Written comments are encouraged and will be accepted until 
September 9, 2002. Your comments should address one or more of the 
following four points:
    (1) Evaluating 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) Evaluating 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) Enhancing the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
to be collected; and
    (4) Minimizing the burden of the collection of the information on 
those who are to respond, including through the use of any and all 
appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., 
permitting electronic submission of responses.

Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of information collection: New
    (2) Title of Form/Collection: Application requirements for the 
adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429.
    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the 
Department of Justice sponsoring the collection: No form number, 
Immigration and Naturalization Service.
    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as 
well as a brief abstract: Individuals. Section 586 of Public Law 106-
429 allows certain aliens from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to adjust 
status to lawful permanent resident. The information collection is 
necessary in order for the Service to make a determination that the 
eligibility requirements and conditions are met regarding the alien.
    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount 
of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 5,000 
respondents at 30 minutes per response.
    (6) An estimate of the total of public burden (in hours) associated 
with the collection: Approximately 2,500 burden hours.
    All comments and suggestions or questions regarding additional 
information should be directed to the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, Regulations and Forms Services Division, 425 I Street, NW., 
Room 4034, Washington, DC 20536; Attention: Richard A. Sloan, Director, 
(202)514-3241.

List of Subjects

8 CFR Part 103

    Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations 
(Government agencies), Freedom of information, Privacy, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

8 CFR Part 212

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Passports and visas, 
Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

8 CFR Part 245

    Aliens, Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
    Accordingly, chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES OF SERVICE OFFICERS; AVAILABILITY OF 
SERVICE RECORDS

    1. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1304, 1356; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; E.O. 12356; 47 FR 14874, 15557, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., p 
166; 8 CFR part 2.


Sec. 103.1  [Amended]

    2. Section 103.1(f)(3)(iii)(C) is amended by adding the phrase ``or 
section 586 of Public Law 106-429'' immediately after ``October 28, 
1977''.

PART 212--DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: NONIMMIGRANTS; WAIVERS; 
ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE

    3. The authority citation for part 212 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1102, 1103, 1182, 1184, 1187, 1225, 
1226, 1227; 8 CFR part 2.

    4. Section 212.7 is amended by adding paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec. 212.7  Waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

* * * * *
    (d) Criminal grounds of inadmissibility involving violent or 
dangerous crimes. The Service, in general, will exercise discretion not 
to grant waivers of the criminal grounds of inadmissibility involving 
violent or dangerous crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances, 
such as those involving national security or foreign policy 
considerations, or cases in which an alien clearly demonstrates that 
the denial of status adjustment would result in exceptional and 
extremely unusual hardship. Moreover, depending on the gravity of the 
alien's underlying criminal offense, a showing of extraordinary 
circumstances might still be insufficient.

PART 245--ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS TO THAT OF PERSON ADMITTED FOR 
PERMANENT RESIDENCE

    5. The authority citation for part 245 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1182, 1255; sec. 202, Pub. L. 
105-100, 111 Stat. 2160, 2193; sec. 902, Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 
2681; 8 CFR part 2.

    6. Section 245.15(i) is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 245.15  Adjustment of status of certain Haitian nationals under 
the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA).

* * * * *
    (i) Evidence of presence in the United States on December 31, 1995. 
An alien seeking HRIFA benefits as a principal applicant must provide 
with the application evidence establishing the alien's presence in the 
United States on December 31, 1995. Such evidence may consist of the 
evidence listed in Sec. 245.22.
* * * * *

[[Page 45408]]

    7. Section 245.21 is added to read as follows:


Sec. 245.21  Adjustment of status of certain nationals of Vietnam, 
Cambodia, and Laos (section 586 of Pub. L. 106-429).

    (a) Eligibility. The Service may adjust the status to that of a 
lawful permanent resident, a native or citizen of Vietnam, Cambodia, or 
Laos who:
    (1) Was inspected and paroled into the United States before October 
1, 1997;
    (2) Was paroled into the United States from Vietnam under the 
auspices of the Orderly Departure Program (ODP), a refugee camp in East 
Asia, or a displaced person camp administered by the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand;
    (3) Was physically present in the United States prior to and on 
October 1, 1997;
    (4) Files an application for adjustment of status in accordance 
with paragraph (b) of this section during the 3-year application 
period; and
    (5) Is otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa and is 
otherwise admissible as an immigrant to the United States except as 
provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section.
    (b) Applying for benefits under section 586 of Public Law 106-429.
    (1) Application period. The application period lasts from the 
effective date when this rule is published as a final rule until 3 
years from the effective date. The Service will accept applications 
received after the end of the application period, but only if the 5,000 
limit on adjustments has not been reached prior to the end of the 3-
year application period, and the application bears an official postmark 
dated on or before the final day of the application period. Postmarks 
will be evaluated in the following manner:
    (i) If the postmark is illegible or missing, the Service will 
consider the application to be timely filed if it is received on or 
before 3 business days after the end of the application period.
    (ii) In all instances, the burden of proof is on the applicant to 
establish timely filing of an application.
    (2) Application. An alien must be physically present in the United 
States to apply for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429. An applicant must submit Form I-485, Application to 
Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, along with the 
appropriate application fee contained in Sec. 103.7(b)(1) of this 
chapter. Applicants who are 14 through 79 must also submit the 
fingerprinting service fee provided for in Sec. 103.7(b)(1) of this 
chapter. Each application filed must be accompanied by evidence 
establishing eligibility as provided in paragraph (g) of this section; 
two photographs as described in the Form I-485 instructions; a 
completed Biographic Information Sheet (Form G-325A) if the applicant 
is between 14 and 79 years of age; a report of medical examination 
(Form I-693 and vaccination supplement) specified in Sec. 245.5; and, 
if needed, an application for waiver of inadmissibility. Under Part 2, 
question h of Form I-485, applicants must write ``INDOCHINESE PAROLEE 
P.L. 106-429''. Applications must be sent to: INS Nebraska Service 
Center, PO Box 87485, Lincoln NE 68501-7485.
    (c) Applications from aliens in immigration proceedings. An alien 
in pending immigration proceedings who believes he or she is eligible 
for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 must 
apply directly to the Service in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of 
this section. An immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals 
Board may not adjudicate applications for adjustment of status under 
this section. An alien who is currently in immigration proceedings who 
alleges eligibility for adjustment of status under section 586 of 
Public Law 106-429 may contact Service counsel after filing their 
application to request the consent of the Service to the filing of a 
joint motion for administrative closure. Unless the Service consents to 
such a motion, the immigration judge or the Board may not defer or 
dismiss the proceeding in connection with section 586 of Public Law 
106-429.
    (d) Applications from aliens with final orders of removal, 
deportation or exclusion. An alien with a final order of removal, 
deportation, or exclusion who believes he or she is eligible for 
adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 must apply 
directly to the Service in accordance with paragraph (b) of this 
section.
    (1) An application under this section does not automatically stay 
the order of removal, deportation, or exclusion. An alien who is 
eligible for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-
429 may request that the district director with jurisdiction over the 
alien grant a stay of removal during the pendency of the application. 
The regulations governing such a request are found at 8 CFR 241.6.
    (2) The Service in general will exercise its discretion not to 
grant a stay of removal, deportation or exclusion with respect to an 
alien who is inadmissible on any of the grounds specified in paragraph 
(m)(3) of this section, unless there is substantial reason to believe 
that the Service will grant the necessary waivers of inadmissibiilty.
    (3) An immigration judge or the Board may not grant a motion to re-
open or stay in connection with an application under this section.
    (4) If the Service approves the application, the approval will 
constitute the automatic re-opening of the alien's immigration 
proceedings, vacating of the final order of removal, deportation, or 
exclusion, and termination of the reopened proceedings.
    (e) Grounds of inadmissibility that do not apply. In making a 
determination of whether or not an applicant is otherwise eligible for 
admission to the United States for lawful permanent residence under the 
provisions of section 586 of Public Law 106-429, the grounds of 
inadmissibility under sections 212(a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(7)(A), and (a)(9) 
of the Act shall not apply.
    (f) Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. In connection with an 
application for adjustment of status under this section, the alien may 
apply for a waiver of the grounds of inadmissibility under sections 
212(a)(1), (a)(6)(B), (a)(6)(C), (a)(6)(F), (a)(8)(A), (a)(10)(B), and 
(a)(10)(D) of the Act as provided in section 586(a) of Public Law 106-
429, if the alien demonstrates that a waiver is necessary to prevent 
extreme hardship to the alien, or to the alien's spouse, parent, son or 
daughter who is a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for 
permanent residence. In addition, the alien may apply for any other 
waiver of inadmissibility under section 212 of the Act, if eligible. In 
order to obtain a waiver for any of these grounds, an applicant must 
submit Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, 
with the application for adjustment.
    (g) Evidence. Applicants must submit evidence that demonstrates 
they are eligible for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public 
Law 106-429. Such evidence shall include the following:
    (1) A birth certificate or other record of birth;
    (2) Documentation to establish that the applicant was physically 
present in the United States on October 1, 1997, under the standards 
set forth in Sec. 245.22.
    (3) A copy of the applicant's Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) 
or other evidence that the alien was inspected or paroled into the 
United States prior to October 1, 1997, from one of the three programs 
listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Subject to verification, 
documentation pertaining to paragraph (a)(2) of this section is already 
contained

[[Page 45409]]

in Service files and the applicant may submit an affidavit to that 
effect in lieu of actual documentation.
    (h) Employment authorization. Applicants who want to obtain 
employment authorization based on a pending application for adjustment 
of status under this section may submit Form I-765, Application for 
Employment Authorization, along with the application fee listed in 8 
CFR 103.7(b)(1). If the Service approves the application for employment 
authorization, the applicant will be issued an employment authorization 
document.
    (i) Travel while an application to adjust status is pending. An 
alien may travel abroad while an application to adjust status is 
pending. Applicants must obtain advance parole in order to avoid the 
abandonment of their application to adjust status. An applicant may 
obtain advance parole by filing Form I-131, Application for a Travel 
Document, along with the application fee listed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1). 
If the Service approves Form I-131, the alien will be issued Form I-
512, Authorization for the Parole of an Alien into the United States. 
Aliens granted advance parole will still be subject to inspection at a 
Port-of-Entry.
    (j) Approval and date of admission as a lawful permanent resident. 
When the Service approves an application to adjust status to that of 
lawful permanent resident based on section 586 of Public Law 106-429, 
the applicant will be notified in writing of the Service's decision. In 
addition, the record of the alien's admission as a lawful permanent 
resident will be recorded as of the date of the alien's inspection and 
parole into the United States, as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section.
    (k) Notice of denial. When the Service denies an application to 
adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident based on section 586 
of Public Law 106-429, the applicant will be notified of the decision 
in writing.
    (l) Administrative review. An alien whose application for 
adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 is denied 
by the Service may appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals 
Office in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3(a)(2).
    (m) Number of adjustments permitted under this section--(1) Limit. 
No more than 5,000 aliens may have their status adjusted to that of a 
lawful permanent resident under section 586 of Public Law 106-429.
    (2) Counting procedures. Each alien granted adjustment of status 
under this section will count towards the 5,000 limit. The Service will 
assign a number, ascending chronologically by filing date, to all 
applications properly filed in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (g) 
of this section. Except as described in paragraph (m)(3) of this 
section, the Service will adjudicate applications in that order until 
it reaches 5,000 approvals under this part. Applications initially 
denied but pending on appeal will retain their place in the queue by 
virtue of their number, pending the Service's adjudication of the 
appeal.
    (3) Applications submitted with a request for the waiver of a 
ground of inadmissibility. In the discretion of the Service, 
applications that do not require adjudication of a waiver of 
inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2), (a)(6)(B), (a)(6)(F), 
(a)(8)(A), or (a)(10)(D) of the Act may be approved and assigned 
numbers within the 5,000 limit before those applications that do 
require a waiver of inadmissibility under any of those provisions. 
Applications requiring a waiver of any of those provisions will be 
assigned a number chronologically by the date of approval of the 
necessary waivers rather than the date of filing of the application.
    8. Section 245.22 is added to read as follows:


Sec. 245.22  Evidence to demonstrate an alien's physical presence in 
the United States on a specific date.

    (a) Evidence. Generally, an alien who is required to demonstrate 
his or her physical presence in the United States on a specific date in 
connection with an application to adjust status to that of an alien 
lawfully admitted for permanent residence should submit evidence 
according to this section. In cases where more specific regulations or 
instructions for the form(s) relating to a particular adjustment of 
status provision have been issued, such regulations or instructions for 
the form(s) are controlling to the extent that they conflict with this 
section and must be followed.
    (b) The number of documents. If no one document establishes the 
alien's physical presence on the required date, he or she may submit 
several documents establishing his or her physical presence in the 
United States prior to, and after that date.
    (c) Service-issued documentation. To demonstrate physical presence 
on a specific date, the alien may submit Service-issued documentation. 
Examples of acceptable Service documentation include, but are not 
limited to, photocopies of:
    (1) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, issued upon the alien's 
arrival in the United States;
    (2) Form I-862, Notice to Appear, issued by the Service on or 
before the required date;
    (3) Form I-122, Notice to Applicant for Admission Detained for 
Hearing before Immigration Judge, issued by the Service on or prior to 
the required date, placing the applicant in exclusion proceedings under 
section 236 of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997);
    (4) Form I-221, Order to Show Cause, issued by the Service on or 
prior to the required date, placing the applicant in deportation 
proceedings under sections 242 or 242A (redesignated as section 238) of 
the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997); or
    (5) Any application or petition for a benefit under the Act filed 
by or on behalf of the applicant on or prior to the required date which 
establishes his or her presence in the United States, or a fee receipt 
issued by the Service for such application or petition.
    (d) Government-issued documentation. To demonstrate physical 
presence on the required date, the alien may submit other government 
documentation. Other government documentation issued by a Federal, 
State, or local authority must bear the signature, seal, or other 
authenticating instrument of such authority (if the document normally 
bears such instrument), be dated at the time of issuance, and bear a 
date of issuance not later than the required date. For this purpose, 
the term Federal, State, or local authority includes any governmental, 
educational, or administrative function operated by Federal, State, 
county, or municipal officials. Examples of such other documentation 
include, but are not limited to:
    (1) A state driver's license;
    (2) A state identification card;
    (3) A county or municipal hospital record;
    (4) A public college or public school transcript;
    (5) Income tax records;
    (6) A certified copy of a Federal, State, or local governmental 
record that was created on or prior to the required date, shows that 
the applicant was present in the United States at the time, and 
establishes that the applicant sought in his or her own behalf, or some 
other party sought in the applicant's behalf, a benefit from the 
Federal, State, or local governmental agency keeping such record;
    (7) A certified copy of a Federal, State, or local governmental 
record that was created on or prior to the required date, that shows 
that the applicant was present in the United States at the time, and 
establishes that the applicant submitted an income tax return,

[[Page 45410]]

property tax payment, or similar submission or payment to the Federal, 
State, or local governmental agency keeping such record; or
    (8) A transcript from a private or religious school that is 
registered with, or approved or licensed by, appropriate State or local 
authorities, accredited by the State or regional accrediting body, or 
by the appropriate private school association, or maintains enrollment 
records in accordance with State or local requirements or standards. 
Such evidence will only be accepted to document the physical presence 
of an alien who was in attendance and under the age of 21 on the 
specific date that physical presence in the United States is required.
    (e) Copies of records. It shall be the responsibility of the 
applicant to obtain and submit copies of the records of any other 
government agency that the applicant desires to be considered in 
support of his or her application. If the alien is not in possession of 
such a document or documents, but believes that a copy is already 
contained in the Service file relating to him or her, he or she may 
submit a statement as to the name and location of the issuing Federal, 
State, or local government agency, the type of document and the date on 
which it was issued.
    (f) Other relevant document(s) and evaluation of evidence. The 
adjudicator will consider any other relevant document(s) as well as 
evaluate all evidence submitted, on a case-by-case basis. The Service 
may require an interview when necessary.
    (g) Accuracy of documentation. In all cases, any doubts as to the 
existence, authenticity, veracity, or accuracy of the documentation 
shall be resolved by the official government record, with records of 
the Service having precedence over the records of other agencies. 
Furthermore, determinations as to the weight to be given any particular 
document or item of evidence shall be solely within the discretion of 
the adjudicating authority.

    Dated: July 2, 2002.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 02-17117 Filed 7-8-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P






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