Fall 2018 Statement of Regulatory Priorities

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) was established in 2003 pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296. The DHS mission statement provides the following: "With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values."

Fulfilling that mission requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear-keeping America safe.

Leading a unified national effort, DHS has five core missions: (1) prevent terrorism and enhance security; (2) secure and manage our borders; (3) enforce and administer our immigration laws; (4) safeguard and secure cyberspace; and (5) ensure resilience to disasters. In addition, we must specifically focus on maturing and strengthening the homeland security enterprise itself.

In achieving those goals, we are continually strengthening our partnerships with communities, first responders, law enforcement, and Government agencies-at the Federal, State, local, tribal, and international levels. We are accelerating the deployment of science, technology, and innovation in order to make America more secure, and we are becoming leaner, smarter, and more efficient, ensuring that every security resource is used as effectively as possible. For a further discussion of our mission, see the DHS website at

The regulations we have summarized below in the Department's Fall 2018 regulatory plan and agenda support the Department's authorities. These regulations will improve the Department's ability to accomplish its mission. Also, the regulations we have identified in this year's regulatory plan continue to address legislative initiatives such as the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act), Public Law 110-53 (Aug. 3, 2007).

DHS strives for organizational excellence and uses a centralized and unified approach in managing its regulatory resources. The Office of the General Counsel manages the Department's regulatory program, including the agenda and regulatory plan. In addition, DHS senior leadership reviews each significant regulatory project in order to ensure that the project fosters and supports the Department's mission.

The Department is committed to ensuring that all of its regulatory initiatives are aligned with its guiding principles to protect civil rights and civil liberties, integrate our actions, build coalitions and partnerships, develop human resources, innovate, and be accountable to the American public.

Executive Order 13771 Requirements

In fiscal year 2019, DHS plans to finalize the following actions:

  • 0 Executive Order 13771 regulatory actions;

  • 18 Executive Order 13771 deregulatory actions (including information collections);

  • 4 Executive Order 13771-exempt regulations; and

  • 10 regulations for which we are unsure of their Executive Order 13771 designation. (Note: These are regulations that we designated as "other" in the newly-created Executive Order 13771 designation data field in the Unified Agenda entries).

    We provide further information about those actions in the DHS Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda.

    DHS is also committed to the principles described in Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 (as amended). Both Executive Orders direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

    Finally, the Department values public involvement in the development of its regulatory plan, agenda, and regulations, and is particularly concerned with the impact its regulations have on small businesses. DHS and its components continue to emphasize the use of plain language in our regulatory documents to promote a better understanding of regulations and to promote increased public participation in the Department's regulations.

    The Fall 2018 regulatory plan for DHS includes regulations from several DHS components, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Coast Guard (the Coast Guard), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Below is a discussion of the regulations that comprise the DHS fall 2018 regulatory plan.

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    USCIS is the government agency that administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values. In the coming year, USCIS will promulgate several regulatory actions to support that mission.

    Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization. USCIS will propose to rescind the final rule published in the Federal Register on February 25, 2015. The 2015 final rule amended DHS regulations by extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.

    H-1B Nonimmigrant Program and Petitioning Process Regulations. In order to improve U.S. worker protections as well as to address the requirements of Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American, USCIS will propose to issue regulations with the focus of improving the H-1B nonimmigrant program and petitioning process. Such initiatives will include a proposed rule that would establish an electronic registration program for H-1B petitions subject to annual numerical limitations and would improve the H-1B numerical limitation allocation process (Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Aliens Subject to Numerical Limitations); and a proposed rule that would revise the definition of specialty occupation to increase focus on truly obtaining the best and brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B program and would revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship to help better protect U.S. workers and wages. (Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program).

    Heightened Screening and Vetting of Immigration Program Regulations. USCIS will propose regulations guiding the inadmissibility determination whether an alien is likely at any time to become a public charge under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds). Additionally, USCIS will propose to update its biometrics regulations to eliminate multiple references to specific biometric types, and to allow for the expansion of the types of biometrics required to establish and verify an identity. The goal of this proposal will be to establish consistent identity enrollment and verification policies and processes, and to provide clear proposals on how biometrics will be used in the immigration process. (USCIS Biometrics Collection for Collection for Consistent, Efficient and Effective Operations).

    Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations. USCIS will amend its regulations modernizing the employment-based, fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investor category based on current economic realities and to reflect statutory changes made to the program. (EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization). USCIS will also propose to update its regulations for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program to better reflect realities for regional centers and EB-5 immigrant investors, to increase predictability and transparency in the adjudication process, to improve operational efficiency, and to enhance program integrity. (EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program). Lastly, USCIS will publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit public input on proposals that would increase monitoring and oversight of EB-5 projects, and encourage investment in rural areas. (EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Realignment.)

    Asylum Reforms. USCIS will propose regulations aimed at deterring the fraudulent filing of asylum applications for the purpose of obtaining Employment Authorization Documents. (Employment Authorization Documents for Asylum Applicants). USCIS will also propose to amend its regulations to streamline credible fear screening determinations in response to the Southwest Border crises. (Credible Fear Reform Regulation).

    Adjustment of Status Process Improvements. USCIS will propose to update regulatory provisions to improve the efficiency in the processing of adjustment of status applications, to reduce processing times, to improve data quality provided to partner agencies, to reduce the potential for visa retrogression, to promote efficient usage of available immigrant visas, and to discourage fraudulent and frivolous filings. (Updating Adjustment of Status Procedures for More Efficient Processing and Immigrant Visa Usage). USCIS will also propose updates to its regulations to improve the efficiency of USCIS processing of the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. (Improvements to the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions).

    Electronic Processing of Immigration Benefit Requests. USCIS will propose to amend its regulations to mandate electronic submission for all immigration benefit requests, explain the requirements associated with electronic processing, and allow end-to-end digital processing. This proposal would enhance efficiency and efficacy in USCIS operations, and improve the experience for those applying for immigration benefits.

    United States Coast Guard

    Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service of the United States and the only military organization within DHS. It is the principal Federal agency responsible for the $4.5 trillion maritime transportation system, including maritime safety, security, and stewardship. The Coast Guard delivers daily value to the nation through multi-mission resources, authorities, and capabilities.

    Effective governance in the maritime domain hinges upon an integrated approach to safety, security, and stewardship. The Coast Guard's policies and capabilities are integrated and interdependent, delivering results through a network of enduring partnerships with maritime stakeholders. Consistent standards of universal application and enforcement, which encourage safe, efficient, and responsible maritime commerce, are vital to the success of the maritime industry. The Coast Guard's ability to field versatile capabilities and highly-trained personnel is one of the U.S. Government's most significant and important strengths in the maritime environment.

    America is a maritime nation, and our security, resilience, and economic prosperity are intrinsically linked to the oceans. Safety, efficient waterways, and freedom of transit on the high seas are essential to our well-being. The Coast Guard is leaning forward, poised to meet the demands of the modern maritime environment. The Coast Guard creates value for the public through solid prevention and response efforts. Activities involving oversight and regulation, enforcement, maritime presence, and public and private partnership foster increased maritime safety, security, and stewardship.

    The statutory responsibilities of the Coast Guard include ensuring marine safety and security, preserving maritime mobility, protecting the marine environment, enforcing U.S. laws and international treaties, and performing search and rescue. The Coast Guard supports the Department's overarching goals of mobilizing and organizing our Nation to secure the homeland from terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other emergencies.

    In fiscal year 2019, the Coast Guard plans to finalize 0 regulatory actions and 11 deregulatory actions. The Coast Guard is highlighting the following Executive Order 13771 deregulatory actions:

    Amendments to the Marine Radar Observer Refresher Training Regulations. The Coast Guard will propose removing obsolete portions of the radar observer endorsement requirements and harmonizing the endorsement with the merchant mariner credential. Active mariners with radar observer endorsements having one year of relevant sea service within the previous five years and having served in a position using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on board a radar-equipped vessel, or who have met certain instructor requirements, would be able to renew their radar observer endorsement without completing a radar course. This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement for mariners to carry a certificate of training if the radar observer endorsement is on the MMC, and would allow the endorsement and MMC to expire at the same time. Elimination of the requirement to take a radar refresher or re-certification course every five years would reduce burden on affected mariners without affecting safety. (Note: There is no associated Regulatory Plan entry for this rule because this rule is non-significant under Executive Order 12866. There is an entry, however, in the Unified Agenda.)

    TWIC Reader Requirements; Delay of Effective Date. The Coast Guard has proposed to partially delay the effective date of the final rule entitled "Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Requirements," published in the Federal Register on August 23, 2016. The rule would delay the requirements for facilities that handle bulk CDC, but do not transfer it to or from vessels, as well as facilities that receive vessels that carry CDC, but do not transfer it to the facility. The Coast Guard is considering this delay to allow time to re-evaluate the "asset categorization" methodology used to determine which facilities were considered high risk. Currently, the rule is scheduled to be implemented after the Department of Homeland Security submits the report to Congress on the effectiveness of the TWIC program, required by the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Security Card Program Improvements and Assessment Act (Pub. L. 114-278). This rule would delay the effective date for the affected facilities until August 23, 2021.

    Removal of Certain International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as Amended (STCW) Training Requirements. The Coast Guard will propose to remove three Coast Guard merchant mariner training requirements related to STCW officer and rating endorsements from its regulations in 46 CFR parts 11 and 12. The Coast Guard has determined these training requirements exceed current international certification and training standards of the STCW and cause a misalignment between the training of U.S. mariners and the mariners of other countries. The proposed rule would remove the following training requirements: leadership and managerial skills training to qualify as master of vessels of less than 500 gross tons limited to near-coastal waters; bridge resource management training to qualify as officer in charge of a navigational watch on vessels of less than 500 gross tons limited to near-coastal waters; and computer systems and maintenance training to qualify as electro-technical rating on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more. Removal of these training requirements would reduce the burden on affected mariners without affecting safety.

    Person in Charge of Fuel Transfers. The Coast Guard will propose an alternative to the existing regulatory requirement that a person in charge (PIC) of a fuel transfer on an inspected vessel hold a Merchant Mariner Credential with either an officer endorsement or Tankerman-PIC endorsement. The proposed rule would add the option of designating the PIC using a letter of designation (LOD), which is currently an option for uninspected vessels but not inspected vessels. The LOD designates the holder as a PIC of the transfer of fuel oil and states that the holder has received sufficient formal instruction from the operator or agent of the vessel to ensure his or her ability to safely and adequately carry out the duties and responsibilities of the PIC. Our decades of experience with LODs on uninspected vessels indicates we can safely provide this option to persons on inspected vessels. Allowing the PIC to hold an LOD instead of an Merchant Mariner Credential would relieve certain personnel from the burden of obtaining and renewing an Merchant Mariner Credential every 5 years, and would create flexibility as to who may serve as a PIC of fuel transfers on inspected vessels. This option would be available only for transfers of fuel; the PIC requirements for vessels transferring cargo would remain unchanged. (Note: There is no associated Regulatory Plan entry for this rule because this rule is non-significant under Executive Order 12866. There is an entry, however, in the Unified Agenda.)

    United States Customs and Border Protection

    CBP is the Federal agency principally responsible for the security of our Nation's borders, both at and between the ports of entry into the United States. CBP must accomplish its border security and enforcement mission without stifling the flow of legitimate trade and travel. The primary mission of CBP is its homeland security mission, that is, to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States. An important aspect of this priority mission involves improving security at our borders and ports of entry, but it also means extending our zone of security beyond our physical borders.

    CBP is also responsible for administering laws concerning the importation into the United States of goods, and enforcing the laws concerning the entry of persons into the United States. This includes regulating and facilitating international trade; collecting import duties; enforcing U.S. trade, immigration and other laws of the United States at our borders; inspecting imports, overseeing the activities of persons and businesses engaged in importing; enforcing the laws concerning smuggling and trafficking in contraband; apprehending individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally; protecting our agriculture and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases; servicing all people, vehicles, and cargo entering the United States; maintaining export controls; and protecting U.S. businesses from theft of their intellectual property.

    In carrying out its mission, CBP's goal is to facilitate the processing of legitimate trade and people efficiently without compromising security. Consistent with its primary mission of homeland security, CBP intends to issue several regulations during the next fiscal year that are intended to improve security at our borders and ports of entry. During the upcoming year, CBP will also be working on various projects to streamline CBP processing, reduce duplicative processes, reduce various burdens on the public, and automate various paper forms. Below are descriptions of CBP's planned regulatory and deregulatory actions for fiscal year 2019.

    Collection of Biometric Data from Aliens Upon Entry to and Departure from the United States. DHS is required by statute to develop and implement an integrated, automated entry and exit data system to match records, including biographic data and biometric identifiers, of aliens entering and departing the United States. In addition, Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, states that DHS is to expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system. Although the current regulations provide that DHS may require certain aliens to provide biometrics when entering and departing the United States, they only authorize DHS to collect biometrics from certain aliens upon departure under pilot programs at land ports and at up to 15 airports and seaports. In order to provide the legal framework for DHS to begin a seamless biometric entry-exit system, DHS intends to issue an interim final rule to amend the regulations to remove the references to pilot programs and the port limitation. In addition, to enable CBP to make the process for verifying the identity of alien's more efficient, accurate, and secure by using facial recognition technology, this rule would also provide that alien travelers may be required to provide photographs upon entry and/or departure.

    Implementation of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) at U.S. Land Borders - Automation of CBP Form I-94W. CBP intends to amend DHS regulations to implement the ESTA requirements under section 711 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, for aliens who intend to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) at land ports of entry. Currently, aliens from VWP countries must provide certain biographic information to U.S. CBP officers at land ports of entry on a paper I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94W). Under this rule, these VWP travelers would instead provide this information to CBP electronically through ESTA prior to application for admission to the United States.

    Technical Corrections to Reflect the Consolidation of Vessel Repair Unit Locations. CBP intends to issue a final rule to update provisions relating to the declaration, entry and dutiable status of repair expenditures made abroad for certain vessels to reflect the port of New Orleans, Louisiana as the only Vessel Repair Unit (VRU) location. The amendment will improve the efficiency of vessel repair entry processing, ensure the proper assessment and collection of duties, and make the regulations more transparent. This rule is a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771. (Note: There is no associated Regulatory Plan entry for this rule because this rule is non-significant under Executive Order 12866. There is an entry, however, in the Unified Agenda.)

    Modernization of the Customs Brokers Regulations. CBP intends to issue a proposed rule to amend the requirements for customs brokers. Specifically, CBP will propose to expand the scope of the national permit authority to allow national permit holders to conduct any type of customs business throughout the customs territory of the United States. To accomplish this, CBP will propose to eliminate broker districts and district permits, which also eliminates the need for district permit waivers and for brokers to maintain district offices. Additionally, CBP will propose to update the responsible supervision and control oversight framework to better reflect the modern business environment. This rule is a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771. (Note: There is no associated Regulatory Plan entry for this rule because this rule is non-significant under Executive Order 12866. There is an entry, however, in the Unified Agenda.)

    Automation of CBP Form I-418 for Vessels. CBP intends to issue a rule amending the regulations regarding the submission of Form I-418, Passenger List - Crew List. Currently, the master or agent of every commercial vessel arriving in the United States, with limited exceptions, must submit a paper Form I-418, along with certain information regarding longshore work, to CBP at the port where immigration inspection is performed. Most commercial vessel operators are also required to submit a paper Form I-418 to CBP at the final U.S. port prior to departing for a foreign port. Under this rule, most vessel operators would be required to electronically submit the data elements on Form I-418 to CBP through the National Vessel Movement Center in lieu of submitting a paper form. This rule would eliminate the need to file the paper Form I-418 in most cases. This rule is a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771. (Note: There is no associated Regulatory Plan entry for this rule, because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866. There is an entry, however, in the Unified Agenda.)

    In addition to the regulations that CBP issues to promote DHS's mission, CBP also issues regulations related to the mission of the Department of the Treasury. Under section 403(1) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the former-U.S. Customs Service, including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. As part of the initial organization of DHS, the Customs Service inspection and trade functions were combined with the immigration and agricultural inspection functions and the Border Patrol and transferred into CBP. The Department of the Treasury retained certain regulatory authority of the U.S. Customs Service relating to customs revenue function. In addition to its plans to continue issuing regulations to enhance border security, in the coming year, CBP expects to continue to issue regulatory documents that will facilitate legitimate trade and implement trade benefit programs. For a discussion of CBP regulations regarding the customs revenue function, see the regulatory plan of the Department of the Treasury.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency

    FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

    FEMA is working on a deregulatory action titled Update to FEMA's Regulations on Rulemaking Procedures. That rule would revise FEMA regulations pertaining to rulemaking by removing sections that are outdated or do not affect the public and update provisions that affect the public's participation in the rulemaking process.

    FEMA is also working on a regulatory action titled Factors Considered When Evaluating a Governor's Request for Individual Assistance for a Major Disaster. This regulation would address the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013's requirement that FEMA review, update, and revise through rulemaking the individual assistance factors FEMA uses to measure the severity, magnitude, and impact of a disaster. FEMA published a proposed rule on November 12, 2015, and now plans to issue a final rule.

    Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

    The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) does not have any significant regulations planned for fiscal year 2019.

    United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    ICE is the principal criminal investigative arm of DHS and one of the three Department components charged with the criminal and civil enforcement of the Nation's immigration laws. Its primary mission is to protect national security, public safety, and the integrity of our borders through the criminal and civil enforcement of Federal law governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration. During fiscal year 2019, ICE will focus rulemaking efforts on three priority regulations: (1) a final rule to address the detention, processing, and release of alien children; (2) a final rule to increase the fees paid to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to recover costs for services; and (3) a proposed rule to replace "duration of status" with a maximum period of stay for certain classes of nonimmigrants..

    Below are ICE's significant regulatory actions for the coming fiscal year:

    Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children. ICE, in concert with CBP and the Department of Health and Human Services, will finalize a rule related to the detention, processing, and release of alien children. In 1985, a class-action suit challenged the policies of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) relating to the detention, processing, and release of alien children; the case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court upheld the constitutionality of the challenged INS regulations on their face and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. In January 1997, the parties reached a comprehensive settlement agreement, referred to as the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA). The FSA was to terminate five years after the date of final court approval; however, the termination provisions were modified in 2001, such that the FSA does not terminate until forty-five days after publication of regulations implementing the agreement. Since 1997, intervening statutory changes, including passage of the Homeland Security Act and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), have significantly changed the applicability of certain provisions of the FSA. The proposed rule will codify the relevant and substantive terms of the FSA and enable the U.S. Government to seek termination of the FSA and the litigation concerning its enforcement. Through this rule, DHS will create a pathway to ensure the humane detention of family units while satisfying the goals of the FSA. The rule will also implement related provisions of the TVPRA.

    Adjusting Program Fees for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. ICE will finalize a rule to adjust the fees that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) charges individuals and organizations. In 2016, SEVP conducted a comprehensive fee study and determined that current fees do not recover the full costs of the services provided. ICE has determined that adjusting fees is necessary to fully recover the increased costs of SEVP operations, program requirements, and to provide the necessary funding to sustain initiatives critical to supporting national security. The rule will adjust DHS's fees for individuals and organizations. The SEVP fee schedule was last adjusted in a rule published on September 26, 2008.

    Establishing a Maximum Period of Authorized Stay for F-1 and Other Nonimmigrants. ICE will publish a proposed rule that modifies the period of authorized stay for certain categories of nonimmigrants traveling to the United States. The rule would change the authorized stay from "duration of status" and replace it with a maximum period of authorized stay, and options for extensions, for each applicable visa category. This change will help eliminate confusion over the length of authorized period of stay for nonimmigrants to lawfully remain in the United States and will assist efforts to reduce overstay rates.

    National Protection and Programs Directorate

    The National Protection and Programs Directorate's (NPPD) vision is a safe, secure, and resilient infrastructure where the American way of life can thrive. NPPD leads the national effort to protect and enhance the resilience of the Nation's physical and cyber infrastructure. Although NPPD does not plan to finalize any significant regulations within the next fiscal year, NPPD will undertake reviews of its existing regulations in accordance with Executive Order 13771. NPPD is also working on several future rulemaking projects, as reflected in the Unified Agenda.

    Transportation Security Administration

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA applies an intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to all aspects of TSA's mission. This approach results in layers of security to mitigate risks effectively and efficiently. TSA uses established processes, working with stakeholders, to review programs, requirements, and procedures for appropriate modifications based upon changes in the environment, whether those changes result from an evolving threat or enhancements available through new technologies.

    For the coming fiscal year, TSA is prioritizing deregulatory actions and regulatory actions that are required to meet statutory mandates and that are necessary for national security. Below are planned TSA actions for fiscal year (FY) 2019.

    Security Training for Surface Transportation Employees. TSA will finalize a rule requiring higher-risk public transportation agencies (including rail mass transit and bus systems), railroad carriers (freight and passenger), and over-the-road bus owner/operators to conduct security training for frontline employees. This regulation will implement mandates of the Implementing Regulations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, (9/11 Act), which addressed recommendations of the 9/11 Commission for enhancing the nation's security based upon vulnerabilities identified in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. In compliance with the definition of frontline employees in pertinent provisions of the 9/11 Act, the rule will include identification of which employees are required to receive security training and the content of that training. The final rule will also propose definitions for transportation security-sensitive materials, as required by section 1501 of the 9/11 Act.

    Vetting of Certain Surface Transportation Employees. TSA will propose a rule requiring security threat assessments for security coordinators and other frontline employees of certain public transportation agencies (including rail mass transit and bus systems), railroads (freight and passenger), and over-the-road bus owner/operators. The NPRM will also propose provisions to implement TSA's statutory requirement to recover its cost of vetting through user fees. While many stakeholders conduct background checks on their employees, their actions are limited based upon the data they can access. Through this rule, TSA will be able to conduct a more thorough check against terrorist watch-lists of individuals in security-sensitive positions.

    Amending Vetting Requirements for Employees with Access to a Security Identification Display Area. The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 mandates that TSA consider modifications to the list of disqualifying criminal offenses and criteria, develop a waiver process for approving the issuance of credentials for unescorted access, and propose an extension of the look back period for disqualifying crimes. Based on these requirements, and current intelligence pertaining to the "insider threat," TSA will propose revisions that enhance the eligibility requirements and disqualifying criminal offenses for individuals seeking or having unescorted access to any Security Identification Display Area of an airport.

    Protection of Sensitive Security Information. Through a joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation (DOT), TSA will streamline existing requirements to protect sensitive security information. This action finalizes an Interim Final Rule for a statutorily-required regulation related to national security. The rule amends TSA's and DOT's regulations to provide three options for the sensitive security information distribution statement, one significantly abbreviated, to address comments on the IFR that the current marking requirements are unduly burdensome. TSA is considering further deregulatory actions, including aligning the requirement for the handling of Federal Flight Deck Officer names consistent with the handling of Federal Air Marshal names (two names listed together would be sensitive security information, not a single Federal Flight Deck Officer name).

    Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School Employees. This rule will streamline regulations and reduce burden for the alien flight student program. This action finalizes an IFR for rule that implements a statutory requirement, as well as addresses comments received in response to a reopening of the comment period on the IFR. The alien flight student program requires security threat assessments for aliens seeking flight training in the United States and imposes additional security measures on the flight schools training these individuals. In response to recommendations from industry through the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, TSA is considering revising these requirements to reduce costs and industry burden. For example, reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the program are estimated to be overly burdensome due to the requirement for paper records. TSA is considering an electronic recordkeeping platform where all flight providers would upload required student information to a TSA-managed website. Also at industry's request, TSA is considering changing the interval for security threat assessments of alien flight students, eliminating the requirement for a new security threat assessment for each "training event." A related change to the current information collection request pertaining to the alien flight student program will be part of this deregulatory action.

    United States Secret Service

    The United States Secret Service does not have any significant regulations planned for fiscal year 2019.

    DHS Regulatory Plan for Fiscal Year 2019

    A more detailed description of the priority regulations that comprise the DHS Fall 2018 regulatory plan follows.