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

[Federal Register: October 1, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 190)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 61568-61569]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01oc02-28]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

8 CFR Parts 103, 214, 248 and 264

[INS No. 2059]
RIN 1115-AF29

 
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published in the Federal Register at 65 FR 43535 is withdrawn as of 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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.

[[Page 61569]]

Regulations Delegating H-2A Authority to DOL and Extensions of the 
Effective Date

    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 
petitions.
    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 
DOL.

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 
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 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 
Act.
    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]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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