[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 33 (Friday, February 17, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 9590-9591]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3725]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 33 / Friday, February 17, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 9590]]



DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

8 CFR Part 1292

[EOIR Docket No. 176]
RIN 1125-AA72


Recognition and Accreditation

AGENCY: Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

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SUMMARY: The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is 
reviewing and considering amendments to the regulations governing the 
recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives who 
appear before EOIR. EOIR seeks public comment on issues affecting these 
regulations and will host two open public meetings to discuss these 
regulations. The first meeting will be limited to a discussion of the 
recognition of organizations and the second will address accreditation 
of representatives.

DATES:  Dates and Times: The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, 
March 14, 2012 at 1 p.m. The second meeting will be held on Wednesday, 
March 21, 2012 at 1 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1800, 
Falls Church, VA 22041.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To RSVP for the meeting: Lauren Alder 
Reid, Counsel for Legislative and Public Affairs, 703-305-0289, 
PAO.EOIR@usdoj.gov. For each meeting, attendance will be limited to the 
first forty (40) individuals to RSVP. EOIR will also offer a conference 
call option for those who cannot physically attend the meeting. To 
attend the meeting via conference call, please RSVP with the name(s) of 
the attendee(s), the attendee's organization, and an email address 
where instructions may be sent for accessing the conference call.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    EOIR is reviewing and considering amendments to the regulations at 
8 CFR 1292.2 governing the recognition of organizations and 
accreditation of representatives who appear before EOIR. EOIR will be 
hosting two open public meetings to discuss these regulations. The 
purpose of these meetings is to solicit the views of non-governmental 
organizations and other interested members of the public regarding 
potential amendments to these regulations.

Agenda for March 14, 2012, Meeting

    The first meeting, which will be held on March 14, 2012, will focus 
on issues addressing the recognition of organizations. An agenda for 
the first meeting is listed below.
    1. Introductions.
    2. Discussion of required documentation to establish eligibility 
for recognition. What documentation must an organization be required to 
provide in order to establish that it meets the eligibility 
requirements for recognition? For example, should EOIR require the 
organization to submit incorporation or tax documents to prove non-
profit status?
    3. Discussion of fraud prevention. EOIR is committed to preventing 
fraud and is mindful that the recognition and accreditation program may 
be susceptible to abuse. How can EOIR both prevent abuse of the system 
by organizations that may seek to exploit or misuse their recognized 
status, and encourage the participation of legitimate organizations in 
the program?
    4. Discussion of nominal fees. Currently, recognized organizations 
are allowed to charge only a ``nominal fee'' for their services in 
order to ensure that they are serving a non-profit, religious, 
charitable, or social service purpose. See 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(1). Should 
recognized organizations be able to charge more than a nominal fee for 
their services? If so, under what circumstances? Would a system, in 
which an organization's eligibility for recognition is determined based 
on the percentage of its revenue from client fees, be an effective 
measure to ensure that the recognized organization is serving a non-
profit religious, charitable, or social service purpose?
    5. Discussion of withdrawal of recognition. Are the current 
procedures for withdrawal of recognition for an organization effective? 
See 8 CFR 1292.2(c). If not, how can the process be improved?
    6. Discussion of definition of ``low-income.'' EOIR is considering 
defining ``low-income'' by using percentages of the Federal Poverty 
Guidelines amounts. For example, the Legal Services Corporation 
provides that the income of service recipients may not exceed 125% of 
the current official Federal Poverty Guidelines amounts. See 45 CFR 
part 1611. How should ``low-income'' be defined?
    7. Adjourn.

Agenda for March 21, 2012 Meeting

    The second meeting, which will be held on March 21, 2012, will 
focus on issues addressing the accreditation of representatives. An 
agenda for the second meeting is listed below.
    1. Introductions.
    2. Discussion of required training for accredited representatives. 
In order to ensure that accredited representatives maintain sufficient 
knowledge in immigration law and procedure to represent individuals 
adequately before the Department of Homeland Security and EOIR, should 
EOIR require that accredited representatives fulfill an annual 
immigration training requirement similar to a Continuing Legal 
Education (CLE) requirement for attorneys? What would be the 
appropriate amount and type of annual training for accredited 
representatives (e.g., requiring fifteen hours of CLE annually as many 
state bar associations require for licensed attorneys)?
    3. Discussion of fraud prevention. EOIR is committed to preventing 
fraud and mindful that the recognition and accreditation program may be 
susceptible to abuse. How can EOIR both prevent abuse of the system by 
individuals who may seek to exploit or misuse their accredited status, 
and encourage the participation of legitimate individuals in the 
program?
    4. Discussion of adequate supervision. Generally, accredited 
representatives are non-attorneys who provide advice and representation 
to individuals. What is the best way to ensure that accredited 
representatives receive adequate supervision in order to provide 
effective assistance and representation?
    5. Adjourn.

[[Page 9591]]

Public Participation

    EOIR welcomes responses to these questions in the form of written 
submissions, as well as in-person discussion at each respective 
meeting. To facilitate EOIR's ability to respond to comments at the 
meetings, the agency believes it will be most helpful to receive 
written answers to the questions before the meetings. Therefore, EOIR 
encourages parties to submit written answers no later than 5 p.m. on 
Tuesday, March 6, 2012, by email to PAO.EOIR@usdoj.gov. However, EOIR 
will also accept comments and written responses after the meetings. 
Final written submissions are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 
30, 2012, by email to PAO.EOIR@usdoj.gov.
    The meetings are open to the public, but advance notice of 
attendance is required to ensure adequate seating. Persons planning to 
attend should notify Lauren Alder Reid, Counsel for Legislative and 
Public Affairs, 703-305-0289, PAO.EOIR@usdoj.gov. For each meeting, 
participation will be limited to the first forty (40) individuals to 
RSVP, with an additional conference call option available.

    Dated: February 7, 2012.
Lauren Alder-Reid,
Counsel for Legislative and Public Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-3725 Filed 2-16-12; 8:45 am]
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