[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 220 (Tuesday, November 15, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 70638-70639]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-29452]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 5

[Docket No. DHS-2011-0109]


Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of 
Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-015 
Electronic Immigration System-2 Account and Case Management System of 
Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a final rule to 
amend its regulations to exempt portions of an updated and reissued 
system of records titled, ``Department of Homeland Security/U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services-015 Electronic Immigration System-
2 Account and Case Management System of Records'' from certain 
provisions of the Privacy Act. Specifically, the Department exempts 
portions of the ``Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services-015 Electronic Immigration System-2 Account and 
Case Management System of Records'' from one or more provisions of the 
Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement 
requirements.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective November 15, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions please contact: 
Donald K. Hawkins (202) 272-8000, Privacy Officer, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20529. For privacy issues please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan (703) 
235-0780, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland 
Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
in the Federal Register, 76 FR 59926, September 28, 2011, proposing to 
exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of 
the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative 
enforcement requirements. The system of records is the DHS/USCIS-015 
Electronic Immigration System-2 Account and Case Management System of 
Records. The DHS/USCIS-015 Electronic Immigration System-2 Account and 
Case Management system of records notice was published concurrently in 
the Federal Register, 76 FR 60070, September 28, 2011, and comments 
were invited on both the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and 
System of Records Notice (SORN).

Public Comments

    DHS received two comments on the NPRM and no comments on the SORN 
which did not address this system of records. After consideration of 
public comments, the Department will implement the rulemaking as 
proposed.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

    Freedom of information; Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS proposes to amend 
Chapter I of Title 6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 5--DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION

0
1. The authority citation for Part 5 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 
2135; 5 U.S.C. 301. Subpart A also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552. 
Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.


0
2. Add at the end of Appendix C to Part 5, the following new paragraph 
``64'':

Appendix C to Part 5--DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy 
Act

* * * * *
    64. The DHS/USCIS-015 Electronic Immigration System-2 Account 
and Case Management System of Records consists of electronic and 
paper records and will be used by DHS and its components. The DHS/
USCIS-015 Electronic Immigration System-2 Account and Case 
Management is a repository of information held by USCIS to serve its 
mission of processing immigration benefits. This system also 
supports certain other DHS programs whose functions include, but are 
not limited to, the enforcement of civil and criminal laws; 
investigations, inquiries, and proceedings there under; and national 
security and intelligence activities. The DHS/USCIS-015 Electronic 
Immigration System-2 Account and Case Management System of Records 
contains information that is collected by, on behalf of, in support 
of, or in cooperation with DHS and its components and may contain 
personally identifiable information collected by other federal, 
state, local, Tribal, foreign, or international government agencies. 
This system is exempted from the following provisions of the Privacy 
Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2): 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); 
(e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f). Additionally, many 
of the functions in this system require retrieving records from law 
enforcement systems. Where a record received from another system has 
been exempted in that source system under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), DHS 
will claim the same exemptions for those records that are claimed 
for the original primary systems of records from which they 
originated and claims any additional exemptions in accordance with 
this rule. Exemptions from these particular subsections are 
justified, on a case-by-case basis determined at the time a request 
is made, for the following reasons:
    (a) From subsection (c)(3) (Accounting for Disclosures) because 
release of the accounting of disclosures could alert the subject of 
an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or 
regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and 
reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS as well as the 
recipient agency. Disclosure of the accounting would therefore 
present a serious impediment to law enforcement efforts and/or 
efforts to preserve national security. Disclosure of the accounting 
would also permit the individual who is the subject of a record to 
impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and 
to avoid detection or

[[Page 70639]]

apprehension, which would undermine the entire investigative 
process.
    (b) From subsection (d) (Access to Records) because access to 
the records contained in this system of records could inform the 
subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, 
civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that 
investigation and/or reveal investigative interest on the part of 
DHS or another agency. Access to the records could permit the 
individual who is the subject of a record to impede the 
investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid 
detection or apprehension. Amendment of the records could interfere 
with ongoing investigations and law enforcement activities and would 
impose an unreasonable administrative burden by requiring 
investigations to be continually reinvestigated. In addition, 
permitting access and amendment to such information could disclose 
security-sensitive information that could be detrimental to homeland 
security.
    (c) From subsection (e)(1) (Relevancy and Necessity of 
Information) because in the course of investigations into potential 
violations of federal law, the accuracy of information obtained or 
introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not 
be strictly relevant or necessary to a specific investigation. In 
the interests of effective law enforcement, it is appropriate to 
retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns of 
unlawful activity.
    (d) From subsections (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I) (Agency 
Requirements) and (f) (Agency Rules) because portions of this system 
are exempt from the individual access provisions of subsection (d) 
for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not required to 
establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such 
access. Providing notice to individuals with respect to existence of 
records pertaining to them in the system of records, or otherwise 
setting up procedures pursuant to which individuals may access and 
view records pertaining to themselves in the system, would undermine 
investigative efforts and reveal the identities of witnesses, and 
potential witnesses, and confidential informants.

    Dated: November 2, 2011.
Mary Ellen Callahan,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2011-29452 Filed 11-9-11; 8:45 am]
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