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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

[Federal Register: April 28, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 82)]
[Notices]               
[Page 23830-23831]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28ap11-66]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

 
Removing Designated Countries From the National Security Entry-
Exit Registration System (NSEERS)

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is eliminating 
redundant programs by removing the following countries from, and 
relieving nonimmigrant nationals or citizens of the following countries 
from compliance with, the special registration procedures under the 
National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS): Afghanistan, 
Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, 
Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, 
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab 
Emirates, and Yemen. Over the past six years, the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented several new automated systems 
that capture arrival and exit information on nonimmigrant travelers to 
the United States, and DHS has determined that recapturing this data 
manually when a nonimmigrant is seeking admission to the United States 
is redundant and no longer provides any increase in security. DHS, 
therefore, has determined that it is no longer necessary to subject 
nationals from these countries to special registration procedures, and 
this notice deletes all currently designated countries from NSEERS 
compliance.

DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective April 28, 2011.

[[Page 23831]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Raphael Henry, Program Manager, U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, 
Washington, DC 20229, telephone (202) 344-1438 (not a toll-free 
number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Justice created the 
National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) in 2002 
pursuant to sections 262(a) and 263(a) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1302(a) and 1303(a), to provide the 
Federal government with records of the arrival and departure of 
nonimmigrant aliens from specific countries designated by the Attorney 
General.\1\ The NSEERS regulations require nonimmigrant aliens who are 
nationals or citizens of countries designated by the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, upon consultation with the Secretary of State, to 
comply with special registration requirements, including providing 
fingerprints, a photograph, and any additional information required by 
DHS to DHS officials at the time the nonimmigrant applies for admission 
at a U.S. port of entry. 8 CFR 264.1(f)(3). Countries are designated 
for NSEERS by notice published in the Federal Register. 8 CFR 
264.1(f)(2). Nonimmigrants subject to NSEERS requirements also may be 
required to appear at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office 
in person to verify information by providing additional information or 
to provide documentation confirming compliance with the conditions of 
their status and admission. Id. Finally, such nonimmigrants are 
required to depart through specified ports to record their departures 
from the United States. 8 CFR 264.1(f)(8)(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 67 FR 40581 (June 13, 2002) (proposed rule); 67 FR 52584 
(Aug. 12, 2002) (final rule). The functions of the former 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, including NSEERS, were 
transferred to DHS in 2003. See Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), 
Public Law 107-296, tit. XV, sec. 1517, 116 Stat. 2135, 2311, 6 
U.S.C. 557 (transfer of regulatory authority).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to prior designations, nonimmigrant nationals or citizens 
of the following countries currently must comply with NSEERS 
requirements: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, 
Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, 
Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, 
Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. See, e.g., 67 
FR 67766 (Nov. 6, 2002); 67 FR 70526 (Nov. 22, 2002); 67 FR 77642 (Dec. 
18, 2002); 68 FR 2363 (Jan. 16, 2003).
    Since its establishment in 2003, DHS has developed substantial 
infrastructure and adopted more universally applicable means to verify 
the entry and exit of aliens into and out of the United States. 
Improved intelligence exchange between the United States and other 
countries has further informed DHS's understanding of the threat posed 
to the United States by international terrorism. Based on global and 
individualized intelligence, DHS has refined its approach to 
identifying aliens posing a threat to the nation and applied these 
techniques to foreign national non-immigrants generally. As threats to 
the United States evolve, DHS seeks to identify specific individuals 
and actions that pose specific threats, rather than focusing on more 
general designations of groups of individuals, such as country of 
origin.
    DHS has implemented and improved the data systems that support 
individualized determinations of admissibility. DHS established the 
United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program 
(``US-VISIT''), in January 2004, to record the arrival and departure of 
aliens; verify aliens' identities; and authenticate and biometrically 
compare travel documents issued to non-U.S. citizens by DHS and the 
Department of State. Under U.S.-VISIT requirements, most aliens seeking 
admission to the United States must provide finger scans and a digital 
photograph upon entry to the United States at U.S. ports of entry. 8 
CFR 235.1(f)(1).
    DHS also currently requires the collection and electronic 
transmission to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of manifest 
information for passengers and crew members entering and departing the 
United States by air or sea. Commercial air carriers departing foreign 
destinations for the United States or departing the United States for a 
foreign destination are required to transmit passenger manifests 
electronically to CBP's Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) 
within strict time limits as prescribed by regulation. 19 CFR 122.49a, 
122.49b, 122.75a, 122.75b. Vessels departing from foreign ports for the 
United States or departing from the United States for a foreign port 
must provide passenger and crew manifest data within strict time limits 
as prescribed by regulation. 19 CFR 4.7b; 4.64(b). DHS recently 
implemented APIS requirements for private aircraft arriving in or 
departing from the United States. 19 CFR 122.22, 122.26, 122.31.
    In light of the development of and improvements to the Department's 
information collection systems and international information sharing 
agreements, the Secretary has determined that subjecting nationals from 
designated countries to a special registration process that manually 
recaptures data already collected through automated systems is 
redundant and does not provide any increase in security.
    After careful consideration, the Secretary of Homeland Security, by 
this notice, is removing all currently designated countries from the 
listing of countries whose nationals and citizens are required to 
comply with NSEERS registration requirements: Afghanistan, Algeria, 
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, 
Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, 
Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and 
Yemen. Effective upon publication of this Notice, nonimmigrant 
nationals and citizens of these countries are no longer required to 
comply with the requirements of 8 CFR 264.1(f), including the 
requirement that they exit through designated ports of entry. 
Accordingly, nationals and citizens from these countries are no longer 
subject to the NSEERS registration requirement. Accordingly, DHS will 
no longer register aliens under NSEERS effective on April 28, 2011. 
This notice does not relieve any alien of any other requirement under 
the law.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2011-10305 Filed 4-27-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-06-P


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