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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC49 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: Implementing Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperative Agreements for Asylum Under the Immigration and Nationality Act 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collectively, the Departments are adopting an interim final rule (IFR or rule) to modify existing regulations to provide for the implementation of agreements that the United States enters into pursuant to section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA or Act).  Such agreements referred to by the Departments as Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs) and alternatively described as safe third country agreements in existing regulations are formed between the United States and foreign countries where aliens removed to those countries would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection.  In certain circumstances, an ACA, in conjunction with section 208(a)(2)(A), bars an alien subject to the agreement from applying for asylum in the United States and (ii) authorizes the removal of the alien to a country that will adjudicate his or her asylum claim.   This rule will apply to all ACAs between the United States and countries other than Canada.  The United States and Canada entered into a bilateral ACA in 2002 that the Departments implemented by regulation in 2004, titled the Agreement Between the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada for Cooperation in the Examination of Refugee Status Claims from Nationals of Third Countries. This rule would extend the authority of asylum officers to consider cooperative, burden-sharing agreements reached with countries other than Canada, while clarifying that application of section 208(a)(2)(A) of the INA in relation to such other agreements is not limited to aliens arriving at a land border port of entry and providing for a procedure for considering claims of fear of removal to a third country under section 208(a)(2)(A).


Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 208    8 CFR 1003    8 CFR 1208    8 CFR 1240   
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101    8 U.S.C. 1103    8 U.S.C. 1158    8 U.S.C. 1226    8 U.S.C. 1252    title VII of Pub. L. 110–229    ...   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  11/19/2019  84 FR 63994   
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  12/19/2019 
Final Action  12/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Related to 1125-AA98  Related Agencies: Joint: DOJ/EOIR; 
Agency Contact:
Maureen A. Dunn
Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 5900 Capital Gateway Drive, Suite 4S190,
Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009
Phone:240 721-3000