[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 75 (Friday, April 18, 1997)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19024-19031]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-10119]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

8 CFR Parts 287 and 299

[INS No. 1830-97]
RIN 1115-AE80


Establishment of Pre-enrolled Access Lane (PAL) Program at 
Immigration and Naturalization Service Checkpoints

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
(Service) regulations by establishing a Pre-enrolled Access Lane (PAL) 
program for the use of eligible persons and vehicles at Service 
checkpoints within the United States. This rule is necessary to permit 
the Service to facilitate passage through Service checkpoints while 
safeguarding the integrity of law enforcement at the checkpoints.

DATES: This interim rule is effective April 18, 1997. Written comments 
must be received on or before June 17, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Please submit written comments, in triplicate, to the 
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 5307, Washington, DC 
20536, Attn: Public Comment Clerk. To ensure proper handling, please 
reference 1830-97 on your correspondence. Comments are available for 
public inspection at this location by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange 
for an appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
William Carter, U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, 415 I Street, NW., Room 4226, Washington, DC 20536, telephone 
(202) 514-3072.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the Fiscal Year 1996 Appropriations Act 
for the Department of Justice, Congress required the Service to 
establish a computer lane facilitation pilot program at the San 
Clemente, California, checkpoint. See section 101 of Public Law 104-134 
(April 26, 1996). The Service has determined that the Pre-enrolled 
Access Lane (PAL) program implemented by this interim rule is the best 
means of complying with this congressional mandate.
    Under the PAL program, the Service may establish lanes at 
checkpoints for pre-enrolled travelers, the use of which is restricted 
to enrolled participants who the Service has determined present a low 
risk of using the lane for unlawful purposes (and to passengers of such 
enrolled participants). A person who wishes to become an enrolled 
participant in the PAL program or to register a vehicle for use in the 
lane will be required to apply to the Service by using Form I-866--
Application Checkpoint Pre-enrolled Access Lane. This program is wholly 
voluntary, and failure to apply or denial of an application for the PAL 
program in no way prevents a person from passing through any checkpoint 
in the regular traffic lanes.
    Prior to approval of any vehicle for use in the lane, the Service 
may inspect such vehicle to ensure that it does not present evidence of 
having been used or prepared to be used to smuggle aliens or drugs. An 
electronic transmitter or other identifier may be affixed to vehicles 
authorized for use in the lane. Prior to enrolling applicants to 
participate in the PAL program, the Service will conduct appropriate 
checks of immigration, law enforcement, and criminal history 
information records and databases for information related to the 
applicant and any vehicle he or she wishes to register. This check may 
include submitting the applicant's fingerprints to appropriate law 
enforcement agencies.
    An authorized vehicle may not have access to a Pre-enrolled Access 
Lane unless at least one person in the vehicle is an enrolled 
participant in the PAL program and has specific authorization to use 
that vehicle in the PAL. When using the PAL, an enrolled participant 
may carry passengers who are not enrolled in the PAL, so long as all 
passengers are United States citizens, lawful permanent residents of 
the United States or rightful holders of valid nonimmigrant United 
States visas. If an authorized vehicle is sold, stolen, or otherwise 
disposed of, authorization to use that vehicle in the lane is 
automatically revoked. Within 24 hours of when an authorized vehicle is 
stolen, or within 7 days of when such vehicle is sold, or otherwise 
disposed of or the license plates are changed, enrolled participants 
must give, in person or by fax, written notice of such occurrence to 
the PAL enrollment center at which their application was filed. If a 
vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of, it is the responsibility of 
the enrolled participant to remove or obliterate any identifying decal 
or other authorization for participation in the PAL program before or 
at the time of sale or disposal unless otherwise notified by the 
Service. If the Service installs an electronic transmitter or similar 
device on the vehicle, the enrolled participant must have that device 
removed by the Service at the PAL enrollment center.
    Failure to comply with the terms and conditions established for use 
of the lane may result in revocation of the privilege to participate in 
the program. Unless revocation is automatic, the Service will give 
written notice of revocation to the enrolled PAL participant or mail it 
to his or her last known address. However, written notification is not 
necessary prior to revocation of the privilege to participate in the 
PAL program. All vehicles approved for use in the lane remain subject 
to being stopped and occupants questioned during use of the lane in 
order to ensure compliance with immigration and other applicable laws 
and the conditions for use of the PAL.
    Factors which the Service will consider in determining the 
eligibility of an applicant to enroll in the Pre-enrolled Access Lane 
program include, but are not limited to, lawful presence in the United 
States, criminal history and/or evidence of criminality, employment, 
residency, prior immigration history, possession of a valid driver's 
license, vehicle type, registration, and inspection.

Good Cause Exception

    The Service's implementation of this rule as an interim rule with 
provisions for post-promulgation public comment is based upon the 
``good cause'' exceptions to the normal notice and comment requirement 
found at 5 U.S.C. 553 (b)(3)(B) and (d)(3). Immediate implementation of 
this interim rule without prior notice and comment is necessary because 
of a statutory requirement. In the Fiscal Year 1996 Appropriations Act, 
Congress mandated that the Service establish a commuter lane 
facilitation program at the San Clemente checkpoint within 90 days of 
the passage of that Act. See section 101 of Public Law 104-134 (April 
26, 1996). While the INS did initiate a commuter facilitation pilot 
program by the

[[Page 19025]]

statutory deadline, the implementation of a fully operational commuter 
lane facilitation program has required the construction of an 
additional lane at the checkpoint as well as the development of a new 
system for enrolling and monitoring individuals and vehicles who will 
use the lane. Both construction and system development have required 
considerable time. In communications between members of Congress and 
the Attorney General, it was agreed that the newly constructed 
dedicated commuter lane (referred to in this rule as the PAL) would be 
in operation by June of 1997. In order to have a lane operational by 
that date, the Service has determined that it needs to begin enrolling 
participants in April of 1997, and the Service cannot begin the 
enrollment process until this rule becomes effective. Compliance with 
the normal notice and comment period would, therefore, make it 
impossible for the Service to properly implement the PAL within the 
time agreed upon with Congress and could put the Service in violation 
of an express congressional mandate.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in 
accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has 
reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that the rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities because of the following factors. The rule applies to 
individuals, not small entities, and provides a clear benefit to 
participants by allowing expenditious passage through a checkpoint. 
Participation in the PAL program is voluntary.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is considered by the Department of Justice, Immigration 
and Naturalization Service, to be a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and 
Review. Accordingly, this rule has been submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget for review.

Executive Order 12612

    The regulations proposed herein 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 Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Executive Order 12988

    This interim rule meets the applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

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 
$100,000,000 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 Sec. 804 of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will 
not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 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.
    The information collection requirement contained in this rule has 
been cleared by the Office of Management and Budget under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The clearance number for 
this collection is contained in 8 CFR 299.5, Display of control 
numbers.

List of Subjects

8 CFR Part 287

    Immigration, Law enforcement officers.

8 CFR Part 299

    Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 287--FIELD OFFICERS; POWERS AND DUTIES

    1. The authority citation for part 287 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1182, 1225, 1226, 1251, 1252, 1357; 8 
CFR part 2.


Sec. 287.11  [Redesignated as Sec. 287.12]

    2. Section 287.11 is redesignated as Sec. 287.12.
    3. A new Sec. 287.11 is added to read as follows:


Sec. 287.11  Pre-enrolled Access Lane.

    (a) Pre-enrolled Access Lane (PAL). A PAL is a designated traffic 
lane located at a Service checkpoint, which, when in operation, may be 
used exclusively by enrolled participants and their passengers in 
vehicles authorized by the Service to pass through the checkpoint.
    (b) General requirements for Pre-enrolled Access Lane Program. (1) 
Participation in the Pre-enrolled Access Lane program is wholly 
voluntary and failure to apply or denial of an application does not 
prevent any person from passing through the checkpoint in the regular 
traffic lanes.
    (2) Only United States citizens and members of the classes of 
aliens which the Commissioner of the Service or her delegates determine 
to be eligible may enroll in the PAL program. To participate in the PAL 
program, an applicant must have a permanent or temporary residence in 
the United States, and must agree to furnish all information requested 
on the application.
    (3) The applicant must agree to all terms and conditions required 
for use of a Pre-enrolled Access Lane. Immigration, criminal justice 
information, and law enforcement records and databases will be checked 
to assist in determining the applicant's eligibility. The Service may 
require applicants to submit fingerprints, and the Service may provide 
those fingerprints to Federal, State, and local government agencies for 
the purpose of determining eligibility to participate in the PAL 
program.
    (4) Any vehicle used in a Pre-enrolled Access Lane must have 
current approval from the Service for use in the PAL program.
    (5) Enrolled participants may be issued an identification document 
showing authorization to participate in the PAL program, and, if such a 
document is issued, participants must have it in their possession 
whenever using the PAL. In addition, alien participants must be in 
possession of a valid form constituting evidence of alien registration 
pursuant to Sec. 264.1(b) of this chapter at all times while using the 
PAL.
    (6) The Service will install any and all equipment, decals, 
devices, technology, or methodology it deems necessary on registered 
vehicles to ensure that only authorized persons and vehicles use the 
PAL.
    (7) All devices, decals, or other equipment, methodology, or 
technology used to identify persons or vehicles using a Pre-enrolled 
Access Lane remain the property of the United States Government at all 
times and must be

[[Page 19026]]

surrendered upon request of the Service. Enrolled participants must 
abide by the terms set forth by the Service for use of any device, 
decal, or other equipment, methodology, or technology. If a vehicle is 
sold or otherwise disposed of, it is the responsibility of the enrolled 
participant to remove or obliterate any identifying decal or other 
authorization for participation in the PAL program before or at the 
time of sale or disposal unless otherwise notified by the Service. If 
the Service installs an electronic transmitter or similar device on the 
vehicle, the enrolled participant must have that device removed by the 
Service at the PAL enrollment center prior to sale or disposal of an 
authorized vehicle.
    (8) Enrolled participants in the PAL program may carry passengers 
who are not enrolled in the program in their authorized vehicles in the 
PAL as long as all passengers are United States citizens, lawful 
permanent residents of the United States, or rightful holders of valid 
nonimmigrant United States visas.
    (c) Application. (1) Application for Pre-enrolled Access Lane 
participation shall be made on Form I-866, Application--Checkpoint Pre-
enrolled Access Lane.
    (2) Each person wishing to enroll in the Pre-enrolled Access Lane 
program must submit a separate application.
    (3) Applications must be supported by documents establishing 
identity, United States citizenship or lawful immigration status in the 
United States, a valid driver's license, and vehicle registration for 
all vehicles being registered. The Service may require additional 
documentation where appropriate to substantiate information provided on 
the application, as well as written permission from the vehicle owner 
to use any vehicle not owned by the applicant in the PAL.
    (4) Each person filing an application may be required to present 
himself or herself for an interview at a time and place designated by 
the Service prior to approval of the application.
    (5) The Service may inspect any vehicle that a PAL applicant 
desires to register for use in the PAL to ensure that it does not 
present evidence of having been used or prepared to be used to smuggle 
aliens or controlled substances, and the Service must approve all 
vehicles prior to use in the PAL. The Service may prohibit the use of 
certain types of vehicles in the PAL for reasons of safety and law 
enforcement.
    (6) An application may be denied by the Chief Patrol Agent having 
jurisdiction over the PAL enrollment center where the application is 
filed. Written notice of the decision on the application shall be given 
to the applicant or mailed by ordinary mail to the applicant's last 
known address. There is no appeal from a denial, but denial is without 
prejudice to reapplying for this program. Re-applications following 
denial or revocation of the privilege to participate in the PAL program 
will not be considered by the Service until 90 days after the date of 
denial or revocation.
    (7) Registration in the PAL program is limited to individuals who 
the Service has determined present a low risk of using the PAL for 
unlawful purposes. Criteria that will be considered in the decision to 
approve or deny the application include the following: lawful presence 
in the United States, criminal history and/or evidence of criminality, 
employment, residency, prior immigration history, possession of a valid 
driver's license, vehicle type, registration, and inspection.
    (8) Applications approved by the Service will entitle the 
authorized person and the authorized vehicle to use the PAL for 2 years 
from the date of approval of the application or until authorization is 
revoked, whichever occurs first.
    (d) Acknowledgments and agreements. By signing and submitting the 
Form I-866 each applicant acknowledges and agrees to all of the 
conditions for participation in the PAL program and the statements on 
the Form I-866.
    (e) Violation of conditions of a Pre-enrolled Access Lane and 
Revocation. An enrolled participant who violates any condition of the 
PAL program, or any applicable law or regulation, or who is otherwise 
determined by an immigration officer to be ineligible to participate in 
the PAL program, may have his or her authorization and the 
authorization of his or her vehicle(s) revoked by the Chief Patrol 
Agent with jurisdiction over the PAL enrollment center where the 
application is filed and may be subject to other applicable sanctions, 
such as criminal and/or civil penalties, removal, and/or possible 
seizure of goods and/or vehicles. If an authorized vehicle is sold, 
stolen, or otherwise disposed of, authorization to use that vehicle in 
the PAL is automatically revoked. Within 24 hours of when an authorized 
vehicle is stolen, or within 7 days of when such vehicle is sold, or 
otherwise disposed of or the license plates are changed, enrolled 
participants must give, in person or by facsimile transmission, written 
notice of such occurrence to the PAL enrollment center at which their 
application was filed. Failure to do so will result in the automatic 
revocation of the authorization to use the PAL of the person who 
registered such vehicle in the PAL program. Unless revocation is 
automatic, the Service will give notice of revocation to the enrolled 
PAL participant or mail it by ordinary mail to his or her last known 
address. However, written notification is not necessary prior to 
revocation of the privilege to participate in the PAL program. There is 
no appeal from the revocation of an authorization to participate in the 
PAL program.
    (f) No benefits or rights conferred. This section does not, is not 
intended to, shall not be construed to, and may not be relied upon to 
confer any immigration benefit or status to any alien or create any 
rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable in law or equity by any 
party in any matter.

PART 299--IMMIGRATION FORMS

    4. The authority citation for part 299 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103; 8 CFR part 2.

    5. Section 299.1 is amended by adding the entry for Form ``I-866'' 
to the listing of forms, in proper numerical sequence, to read as 
follows:


Sec. 299.1  Prescribed forms.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Edition                          
              Form No.                   date             Title         
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
                  *        *        *        *        *                 
I-866...............................    4-15-97  Application--Checkpoint
                                                  Pre-enrolled Access   
                                                  Lane.                 
                                                                        
                  *        *        *        *        *                 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6. Section 299.5 is amended by adding the entry for the Form ``I-
866'' to the listing of forms, in proper numerical sequence, to read as 
follows:


Sec. 299.5  Display of control numbers.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Currently 
                                                               assigned 
            INS form No.                 INS form title      OMB control
                                                                 No.    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
                  *        *        *        *        *                 
              I-866................  Application--Checkpoin    1115-0210
                                      t Pre-enrolled Access             
                                      Lane.                             
                                                                        
                  *        *        *        *        *                 
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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    Dated: March 17, 1997.
Doris Meissner,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.

    Note: This appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal 
Regulations. Appendix to the preamble--Form I-866, Application--
Checkpoint Pre-enrolled Access Lane.

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[FR Doc. 97-10119 Filed 4-17-97; 8:45 am]
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