DHS/USCIS Final Rule on Special Immigrant Visas for Fourth Preference Employment-Based Broadcasters

[Federal Register: April 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 74)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 19805-19806]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18ap06-2]

—————————————

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

8 CFR Part 204

[CIS No. 2106-00]

RIN 1615-AA47

Special Immigrant Visas for Fourth Preference Employment-Based
Broadcasters

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Final rule.

—————————————

SUMMARY: This rule adopts, without change, the interim rule published
by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) in the
Federal Register on October 11, 2001, that established procedures under
which the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States
Broadcasting Board of Governors, or a grantee organization, could file
immigrant visa petitions for foreign language alien broadcasters. The
rule explained the requirements that alien broadcasters must meet in
order to be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition. The public
did not submit any comments to the interim rule.

DATES: This final rule is effective May 18, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alanna Ow, Adjudications Officer,
Business and Trade Services Branch, Office of Program and Regulations
Development, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of
Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor (ULLICO),
Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 616-7417.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Section 203 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides
for the allocation of preference visas for both family and employment-
based immigrants.\1\ 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. Id. at 203(b)(4). Section
101(a)(27) of the INA also offers definitions of the various jobs or
professions that aliens must hold or possess in order to qualify for
the EB-4 category.

—————————————

\1\ The first preference, priority workers, allows for the
immigration of workers with extraordinary abilities in the sciences,
arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and
researchers; and certain multinational executives. Id. at 203(b)(1).
The second preference allows for the immigration of professionals
holding advanced degrees. Id. at 203(b)(2). The third preference
allows for the immigration of skilled workers in short supply and
professionals holding baccalaureate degrees. Id. at 203(b)(3).

—————————————

Legislative and Regulatory History

On November 22, 2000, President Clinton signed the Special
Immigrant Status For Certain United States International Broadcasting
Employees Act (IBE Act), Public Law 106-536. Section 1 of the IBE Act
amended section 101(a)(27) of the INA by adding a new subparagraph. The
amendment established a special fourth preference employment-based
immigrant category for immigrants seeking to enter the United States to
work as broadcasters in

[[Page 19806]]

the United States for the International Broadcasting Bureau of the
United States Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) or a BBG grantee.
(Currently, BBG grantees are Radio Free Asia, Inc. and Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.)

On October 11, 2001, at 66 FR 51819, the former Service published
an interim rule in the Federal Register that added 8 CFR 204.13 and
established an administrative procedure for the BBG and its grantees to
use in order to petition for the services of an alien broadcaster. The
interim rule also codified the provisions of the IBE Act and put into
place procedures for the BBG, its grantees, and former Service
officers, now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
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 subcategory, the IBE Act allows the
BBG and its grantees 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. Under section 203(b)(4) of the INA, only 100 such visas may
be made available in any fiscal year to alien broadcasters coming to
work for BBG or a BBG grantee. This numerical limitation does not
apply, however, to the spouses and children of such immigrants.

Did the Former Service Receive Any Comments on the Interim Rule?

The former Service did not receive any comments during the 60-day
comment period in response to the interim rule. Accordingly, the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now adopting the interim rule
as a final rule without change.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

DHS has reviewed this regulation in accordance with the Regulatory
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), and, by approving it, certifies that
this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities. The October 11, 2001, interim rule provided a
special process that benefits individuals who will be coming to the
United States to work as broadcasters. It did not affect small entities
as that term is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Since this final rule does
not make any changes to the interim rule, this final rule likewise will
not affect small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100
million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This rule is not a major rule as defined 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 DHS to be a “significant regulatory
action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning
and Review. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 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

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, all
Departments are required to submit to OMB, for review and approval, any
reporting requirements inherent in a rule. This rule does not impose
any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork
Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 204

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

Accordingly, the interim rule amending 8 CFR part 204, which was
published in the Federal Register at 66 FR 51819, on October 11, 2001,
is adopted as a final rule without change.

Dated: April 11, 2006.
Michael Chertoff,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 06-3655 Filed 4-17-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4410-10-P

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