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DOJ/EOIR RIN: 1125-AA72 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives 
Abstract:

This rule would amend the regulations governing the requirements and procedures for authorizing the representatives of nonprofit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organizations to represent aliens in proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Department of Homeland Security.

 
Agency: Department of Justice(DOJ)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 1001    8 CFR 1003    8 CFR 1292   
Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301    6 U.S.C. 521    8 U.S.C. 1101    8 U.S.C. 1103    8 U.S.C. 1154    8 U.S.C. 1155    8 U.S.C. 1158    8 U.S.C. 1182    8 U.S.C. 1226    8 U.S.C. 1229    8 U.S.C. 1229a    8 U.S.C. 1229b    8 U.S.C. 1229c    8 U.S.C. 1231    8 U.S.C. 1232    8 U.S.C. 1252b    8 U.S.C. 1254a    8 U.S.C. 1255    8 U.S.C. 1324d    8 U.S.C. 1330    8 U.S.C. 1361    8 U.S.C. 1362    28 U.S.C. 509    28 U.S.C. 510    28 U.S.C. 1746    sec 2 Reorg Plan No 2 of 1950    3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp, 1002    sec 203 of Pub. L. 105-100, 111 Stat 2196-200    sec 1506 and 1510 of Pub. L. 106-386, 114 Stat 1527-29, 1531-1532    sec 1505 of Pub. L. 106-554, 114 Stat 2763 A-326 to -328   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The Recognition and Accreditation (R&A) program addresses the critical and ongoing shortage of qualified legal representation for underserved populations in immigration cases before federal administrative agencies. Through the R&A program, EOIR permits qualified non-attorneys to represent persons before the DHS, the immigration courts, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board). For over 30 years, the R&A regulations have remained largely unchanged, despite structural changes in the government, the changing realities of the immigration system, the inability of non-profit organizations to meet the increased need for legal representation under the current regulations, and the surge in fraud and abuse by unscrupulous organizations and individuals preying on indigent and vulnerable populations.

The proposed rule seeks to address the critical and ongoing shortage of qualified legal representation for underserved populations in immigration cases before federal administrative agencies by revising the eligibility requirements and procedures for recognizing organizations and accrediting their representatives to provide immigration legal services to underserved populations. The proposed rule also imposes greater oversight over recognized organizations and their representatives in order to protect against potential abuse of vulnerable immigrant populations by unscrupulous organizations and individuals.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The proposed rule is a revision of current regulations that are authorized under 8 U.S.C. 292, regarding authorization to practice before the immigration courts and the Board.

Alternatives:

The R&A regulations have been comprehensively examined in light of various issues that have arisen and input has been solicited from the public on how to address in amended regulations various developments over the past 30 years. The proposed rule is the product of both internal and external deliberations, and the proposed rule directly addresses alternatives approaches to the current regulations that the Department has either decided to adopt or reject in the proposed rule. The Department will consider any public comments that propose achievable alternatives that will still accomplish the goals of this proposed rule.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The Department’s preliminary analysis indicates that the proposed rule would not be economically significant, that is, that the rule will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million, or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, the environment, public health or safety or State, local or tribal governments or communities.  The proposed rule, like the current regulations, does not assess any fees on an organization to apply for initial recognition or accreditation, to renew recognition or accreditation, or to extend recognition.

Risks:

The purpose of this proposed rule is to promote effective and efficient administration of justice before DHS and EOIR by increasing the availability of competent non-lawyer representation for underserved immigrant populations. The proposed rule seeks to accomplish this goal by amending the requirements for recognition and accreditation to increase the availability of qualified representation for primarily low-income and indigent persons while protecting the public from fraud and abuse by unscrupulous organizations and individuals. Without the proposed changes, the Department will be limited in its ability to expand the availability of non-lawyer representation and to provide increased oversight over recognized organizations and their representatives.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/01/2015  80 FR 59514   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/30/2015 
Final Action  11/00/2016 
Additional Information: Public Meeting notice 77 FR 9590 (Feb. 17, 2012)
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Jean King
General Counsel
Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600,
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone:703 305-0470