[Federal Register: October 1, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 190)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Parts 103, 214, 248 and 264
[INS No. 2059]
Procedures for Processing Temporary Agricultural Worker (H-2A)
Petitions by the Secretary of Labor
AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
ACTION: Withdrawal of proposed rule.
SUMMARY: On July 13, 2000, the Immigration and Naturalization Service
(Service) published a final rule in the Federal Register to delegate to
the Department of Labor (DOL) the authority to adjudicate petitions for
temporary agricultural workers (H-2A). On the same date, in conjunction
with that action, the Service published a proposed rule in the Federal
Register, at 65 FR 43535, providing additional instructions and
information on how to petition for agricultural workers (H-2A) once the
delegation of authority became effective.
In a separate final rule published elsewhere in this issue of the
Federal Register, the Service is withdrawing that final rule delegating
authority to DOL. Accordingly, for the same reasons, the Service is
withdrawing this related proposed rule.
DATES: The proposed rule amending 8 CFR parts 103, 214, 248 and 264
published in the Federal Register at 65 FR 43535 is withdrawn as of
October 1, 2002.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mari F. Johnson, Adjudications
Officer, Business and Trade Services Branch, Adjudications Division,
Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW., Room 3214,
Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 353-8177.
Purpose of Delegating Adjudication of Certain H-2A Petitions to the DOL
In an attempt to streamline the processing of petitions filed for
agricultural workers, the Service, in consultation with the DOL,
decided to delegate its authority to adjudicate certain H-2A petitions
to the DOL. It was estimated that the delegation of authority would
shorten the processing time of H-2A petitions by as much as 10 days.
Regulations Delegating H-2A Authority to DOL and Extensions of the
On July 13, 2000, the Service published a final rule in the Federal
Register at 65 FR 43528-43534 delegating the authority to adjudicate
certain H-2A petitions for the temporary employment of nonimmigrant
aliens in agriculture in the United States to the DOL. The final rule,
which amended 8 CFR parts 103 and 214, was to take effect on November
13, 2000. The Service subsequently published final rules to delay the
effective date of this transfer of H-2A authority until October 1,
2002. 65 FR 67616 (Nov. 13, 2000); 66 FR 49514 (Sept. 28, 2001).
Proposed Regulations Regarding Procedures for Processing H-2A Petitions
On July 13, 2000, and concurrently with the H-2A final delegation
of authority rule, the Service published a proposed rule for comment
proposing among other things, that all petition requests, extensions of
stay, and change of status petitions must be filed with DOL and that
the current Service petition fee would be collected by DOL as part of
the combined fee.
Concurrently with publication of Service's proposed rule the DOL
published at 65 FR 43545 a companion notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM) setting forth implementation measures necessary for the
successful implementation of the delegation of authority to adjudicate
On August 17, 2000, at 65 FR 50166 the Service reopened and
extended the comment period for the proposed rule. Also on August 17,
2000, at 65 FR 50170 the DOL reopened and extended the comment period
on its NPRM. In order to obtain additional information from the public
relating to the delegation such as the consolidation of forms and the
appropriate fees as well as other issues.
Changes Contained in the Proposed Rule
The Service's proposed rule required that alien workers sign a
petition request for change of status or extension of stay. The Service
also proposed that all petition requests including extension of stay
and change of status petitions be filed with the DOL. Finally, the rule
proposed that the Service's petition filing fee will be collected by
Comments Received on the Proposed Rule
The Service received 20 comments on the proposed rule. The majority
of the commenters expressed dissatisfaction with the Service's
delegation of authority to DOL and requested that the Service grant
additional time for comments from the public on the delegation. The
commenters also expressed concern that it would be difficult for alien
beneficiaries to sign the petition.
Events Necessitating the Withdrawal of the Proposed and Final Rule
For the reasons explained in the final rule, published elsewhere in
this issue of the Federal Register, the Service has withdrawn the
delegation of H-2A authority contained in the final rule published on
July 13, 2000, at 65 FR 43528-45534. Because the delegation of
authority will not take place, the Service is also withdrawing this
proposed rule which was published in the Federal Register on July 13,
2000, at 65 FR 43535.
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 this rule
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of
small entities. This rule is administrative in nature and merely
withdraws a proposed rule published in the Federal Register.
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
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 Fairness 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 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, this regulation has been submitted to the Office
of Management and Budget for review.
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
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, all
Departments are required to submit to the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB), for review and approval, any reporting requirements
inherent in a proposed rule. This rule does not impose any new
reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction
Accordingly, the proposed rule amending 8 CFR parts 103, 214, 248
and 264 published in the Federal Register at 65 FR 43535 is withdrawn.
Dated: September 13, 2002.
James W. Ziglar,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 02-24845 Filed 9-27-02; 1:00 pm]
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