[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 113 (Wednesday, June 12, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35103-35108]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13946]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 35103]]



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

8 CFR Part 235

[Docket No. USCBP-2012-0030; CBP Dec. No. 13-09]
RIN 1651-AA95


Extension of Border Zone in the State of New Mexico

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
regulations to extend the distance that certain nonimmigrant Mexican 
nationals presenting a Border Crossing Card, or other proper 
immigration documentation, may travel in New Mexico without obtaining a 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 (Form I-94), 
Arrival/Departure Record. This change is intended to promote commerce 
and tourism in southern New Mexico while still ensuring that sufficient 
safeguards are in place to prevent illegal entry to the United States.

DATES: This rule is effective July 12, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Manaher, CBP Office of Field 
Operations, telephone (202) 344-3003, email: 
colleen.m.manaher@cbp.dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    Under current DHS regulations, certain nonimmigrant Mexican 
nationals presenting a Border Crossing Card (BCC), or other proper 
immigration documentation, are not required to obtain a Form I-94 if 
they remain within 25 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border (75 miles in 
Arizona).\1\ This region is known as the ``border zone'' and includes 
portions of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. The majority of 
Mexican nationals who are exempt from the Form I-94 requirement possess 
and apply for admission to the United States with a BCC. The BCC is one 
of the most secure travel documents used at the border and allows for 
faster processing at both the port of entry and interior immigration 
checkpoints. The currently issued BCC is a laminated, credit card style 
document with many security features, a ten year validity period and 
vicinity-read Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and a 
machine-readable zone. Using these features, CBP is able to 
electronically authenticate the BCC against the Department of State 
(DOS) issuance records.
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    \1\ The I-94 requirement and exceptions can be found at 8 CFR 
235.1(h). On March 27, 2013, DHS published an Interim Final Rule in 
the Federal Register (78 FR 18457) entitled ``Definition of Form I-
94 to Include Electronic Format.'' The rule makes various amendments 
to 8 CFR to enable DHS to automate the Form I-94 at air and sea 
ports of entry.
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    Although the border zone, established in 1953, was intended to 
promote the economic stability of the border region by allowing for 
freer flow of travel for Mexican visitors with secure documents, New 
Mexico has no metropolitan areas and few tourist attractions within 25 
miles of the border and thus benefits very little from the current 25-
mile border zone. In order to facilitate commerce, trade, and tourism 
in southern New Mexico, while still ensuring that sufficient safeguards 
are in place to prevent illegal entry to the United States, on August 
9, 2012, CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the 
Federal Register (77 FR 47558), proposing to extend the distance 
certain Mexican nationals admitted to the United States as nonimmigrant 
visitors may travel in New Mexico without obtaining a Form I-94 from 25 
miles to 55 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The NPRM also solicited 
public comments.
    All but two of the 40 comments received were very supportive of the 
proposal. Those commenters supporting the proposed extension include 
local and state law enforcement officials, elected officials of the 
region, as well as individual citizens and other stakeholders in the 
business and academic communities. Many commenters stated that the 
expanded border zone will maintain security of the border while 
increasing economic activity in New Mexico's border region and 
providing a boost to this relatively impoverished region. The two 
commenters who oppose the proposed expansion cited security concerns. 
CBP is of the view that the expanded border zone will facilitate 
commerce, trade, and tourism in southern New Mexico, while still 
ensuring that sufficient safeguards are in place to prevent illegal 
entry to the United States. In addition to promoting the economy in 
this area and facilitating legitimate travel, the extension will 
increase CBP's administrative efficiency by reducing unnecessary 
paperwork burdens associated with the I-94 process and allowing CBP to 
focus resources on security enhancing activities to the greatest extent 
possible.
    This rule will not impose any new costs on the public or on the 
United States government. Further, this rule is expected to reduce 
costs to Mexican visitors to the United States, improve security, and 
benefit commerce in a relatively impoverished region. The majority of 
comments that CBP received supported this conclusion.
    Therefore, after consideration of the comments, CBP is adopting as 
final the proposed amendments to 8 CFR 235.1(h).

Background

    Under Sec.  235.1(h)(1) of the DHS regulations (8 CFR 235.1(h)(1)), 
each arriving nonimmigrant who is admitted to the United States is 
issued a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as evidence of the terms 
of admission, subject to specified exemptions. This form is not 
required for a Mexican national admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor with 
certain documentation if he or she remains within 25 miles of the U.S.-
Mexico border (75 miles within Arizona), for no more than either 30 
days or 72 hours, depending upon the type of travel document the 
nonimmigrant visitor possesses. The area bounded by these limits is 
referred to in this document as the ``border zone.''
    To be admitted to the border zone without a Form I-94, a Mexican 
national must be in possession of a

[[Page 35104]]

BCC,\2\ or a passport and valid visa, or for a Mexican national who is 
a member of the Texas Band of Kickapoo Indians or Kickapoo Tribe of 
Oklahoma, a Form I-872 American Indian Card. See 8 CFR 235.1(h)(1)(iii) 
and (v). Mexican nationals entering the United States with a BCC or 
with a Form I-872 may remain in the border zone for up to 30 days 
without having to obtain a Form I-94. Mexican nationals entering the 
United States with a passport and visa may remain in the border zone 
for up to 72 hours without having to obtain an I-94.
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    \2\ Effective October 2, 2002, the Form DSP-150, B-1/B-2 Visa 
and Border Crossing Card became the border crossing card valid for 
entry into the United States. See 67 FR 71443. The BCC is an 
approved document to establish identity and citizenship at the 
border and also serves as a B-1/B-2 visitor's visa.
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    Mexican nationals traveling beyond these specified zones, or who 
will remain beyond the time periods indicated above or seek entry for 
purposes other than as a temporary visitor for business or pleasure, 
are required to obtain and complete a Form I-94. At land border ports 
of entry, the Form I-94 issuance process requires a secondary 
inspection that includes review of travel documents, examination of 
belongings, in-depth interview, database queries, collection of 
biometric data, and collection of a $6 fee. A Form I-94 issued at a 
land border is generally valid for multiple entries for six months.
    The majority of Mexican nationals who are exempt from the Form I-94 
requirement possess and apply for admission to the United States with a 
BCC. To obtain a BCC, applicants must be vetted extensively by the 
Department of State (DOS). The vetting process includes collection of 
information, such as fingerprints, photographs, and other information 
regarding residence, employment and reason for border crossing, and an 
interview, as well as security checks to identify any terrorism 
concerns, disqualifying criminal history, or past immigration 
violations. The BCC includes many security features such as vicinity-
read Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and a machine-
readable zone. Using these features, CBP is able to electronically 
authenticate the BCC and compare the biometrics, photo and fingerprints 
of the individual presenting the BCC against DOS issuance records in 
order to confirm that the document is currently valid and that the 
person presenting the document is the one to whom it was issued.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On August 9, 2012, CBP published an NPRM in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 47558) proposing to amend the DHS regulations to expand the zone 
in which Mexican nationals presenting certain documentation may travel 
in New Mexico without having to obtain a Form I-94. Although the border 
zone was intended to promote the economic stability of the border 
region by allowing for freer flow of travel for Mexican visitors with 
secure documents, New Mexico has no metropolitan areas and few tourist 
attractions within 25 miles of the border and thus benefits very little 
from the current 25-mile border zone. In order to facilitate commerce, 
trade, and tourism in southern New Mexico, while still ensuring that 
sufficient safeguards are in place to prevent illegal entry to the 
United States, CBP proposed extending the border zone in New Mexico 
from 25 miles to 55 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
    With the extension of the border zone to 55 miles, Mexican 
nationals meeting the requirements for legal entry into the United 
States would be able to travel to metropolitan areas in New Mexico, 
such as the city of Las Cruces or the smaller towns of Deming and 
Lordsburg, and other destinations, without having to leave their 
vehicle and wait in line to undergo the additional Form I-94 
application process at secondary inspection. This extension would not 
affect the 30-day time limit of the border zone applicable to BCC 
holders or the 72-hour time limit of the border zone applicable to 
Mexican nationals presenting a visa and passport.
    Additionally, while the extension of the border zone to 55 miles 
from the U.S.-Mexico border includes most of Interstate Highway I-10, 
there is a short stretch of Interstate Highway I-10 that is outside the 
55-mile zone. Thus, to facilitate travel, CBP proposed a provision to 
include all of Interstate Highway I-10 in the state of New Mexico in 
addition to the extension to 55 miles from the border.
    The NPRM also proposed two technical corrections to Sec.  235.1 of 
title 8 CFR. First, in paragraph (h)(1)(iii), CBP proposed correcting 
the paragraph citation from (f)(1)(v) to (h)(1)(v), as this citation 
was inadvertently not changed when paragraph (f) was redesignated as 
paragraph (h) by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) air 
final rule (71 FR 68412). Second, CBP proposed updating several 
references to Sec.  212.1 of title 8 CFR to reflect changes contained 
in the WHTI land and sea final rule (73 FR 18384).
    The background section of the NPRM provides more detailed 
information on the proposed extension, the history and development of 
the border zone, the BCC and its uses, and the proposed technical 
corrections. The NPRM provided a 60-day public comment period.

Discussion of Comments

    CBP received 40 comments \3\ during the comment period, all of 
which addressed the proposed expansion of the border zone. No comments 
were received on the proposed technical corrections. All but two of the 
comments were in favor of the proposal. Those commenters supporting the 
expansion of the border zone included state and local law enforcement 
agencies and elected officials of the region, as well as individual 
citizens and many other stakeholders in the business and academic 
communities. The two comments opposing the expansion were both from 
individuals.
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    \3\ Four of the comments were from one person who sent four 
separate letters in different capacities.
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    Many of the commenters who support the proposal stated that the 
expanded border zone will maintain security of the border while 
increasing economic activity in New Mexico's border region. Some noted 
that the current geographic limitation on BCC holders limits commerce 
in a relatively impoverished region. Many commenters were of the view 
that the 25-mile border zone is antiquated and places the region at a 
competitive disadvantage compared to border regions in neighboring 
states. Many also stated that the region experiences high levels of 
unemployment and poverty, and believed that the extension of the border 
zone would stimulate the local economy by increasing sales, creating or 
saving jobs, and bolstering tax revenues. One commenter noted that 
local agencies with bi-national cooperation agreements are hindered in 
their work by the limited border zone, and often travel to El Paso for 
meetings rather than inviting their Mexican counterparts to join them 
in Las Cruces due to the additional paperwork. A few commenters stated 
that when the border zone was expanded in Arizona in 1999, retail sales 
in the area increased and the region experienced a boost in its 
economy. These commenters were of the view that the same boost would 
occur in New Mexico if the border zone is expanded there.
    Many commenters, including local police and sheriff departments, 
stated that the expansion would have no

[[Page 35105]]

negative effect on security in the region. A few commenters also noted 
that the expansion of the zone would increase efficiency of the 
admission process and allow CBP to focus greater attention on securing 
the border from illegal entries. A few commenters stated that the 
expansion of the border zone will foster goodwill with the Mexican 
communities on the other side of the border.
    CBP received comments in support of the proposal from a state 
senator and a state representative from New Mexico who both noted that 
the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution 
in 2011 in support of extending the border zone, with unanimous and 
bipartisan support. CBP also received a comment in support of the 
proposal from Senators Bingaman and Udall and Congressman Pearce of New 
Mexico. The U.S. Senators and Congressman stated that the expansion of 
the border zone will result in increased efficiency by allowing low-
risk visitors the opportunity to travel to New Mexico to shop, visit 
family, and conduct business while maintaining border security.
    Two commenters opposed the extension of the border zone due to 
concerns relating to security. They are concerned that extending the 
border zone would result in increased illegal crossings into the United 
States and would lead to an increase in criminal activity in the area. 
One of the commenters is concerned that the extension of the border 
zone would increase traffic from Mexico and that this would result in 
decreased scrutiny of aliens entering the United States at the border, 
which may increase illegal activity.

Response to Comments

    CBP has been very mindful of the potential impact of the extension 
on local law enforcement efforts as well as the impact to agencies 
responsible for enforcing the immigration laws along the southwest 
border. However, CBP believes that the extension of the border zone in 
New Mexico will not increase illegal crossings or illegal activity in 
the area. The extension of the border zone will not affect the current 
visa requirements for foreign nationals wishing to enter the United 
States nor will it affect the threshold requirements for admission into 
the United States as a nonimmigrant B-1/B-2 BCC \4\ or B visa holder, 
including residence abroad and no intent to abandon that residence, 
intent to visit temporarily for business or pleasure, and eligibility 
based on applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Travelers 
remain subject to questioning regarding intent and purpose of travel 
during inspection upon arrival in the United States. CBP Officers are 
able to verify at the ports of entry through biometric matching (photo 
and/or fingerprints) that the individual presenting a BCC is the 
authorized holder and, by comparison against DOS's issuance records in 
a shared database, that the document is valid. The existing use of 
Border Patrol checkpoints within 100 miles of the border serve as a 
second tier of enforcement deterring the further movement of illegal 
immigration to the interior of the United States.
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    \4\ The BCC can be used as both a Border Crossing Card and also 
as a B-1/B-2 visa. The full name of the document is ``Form DSP-150, 
B-1/B-2 Visa and Border Crossing Card.'' See 8 CFR 212.1(c)(1)(i).
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    CBP notes that law enforcement officials in some of the affected 
areas, including the Chiefs of Police of the cities of Las Cruces, 
Deming, and Lordsburg, the Sheriffs of Hidalgo and Luna Counties, and 
the Marshal of the town of Mesilla each stated in their comments that 
no negative law enforcement ramifications were anticipated.
    CBP believes that the expanded border zone will allow CBP to better 
allocate its resources while enhancing its enforcement posture. The 
expanded border zone will reduce the number of Mexican nationals 
required to obtain a Form I-94 and thus will increase CBP's 
administrative efficiency by reducing unnecessary paperwork burdens 
associated with the Form I-94 process and allowing CBP to reallocate 
that staff time to other security enhancing activities.
    CBP anticipates that the extension of the border zone will 
encourage Mexican nationals visiting New Mexico to use the BCC, which 
will further enhance security in the region. The BCC is CBP's preferred 
method of identification for Mexican nationals entering the United 
States at land border ports of entry. The BCC is one of the most secure 
travel documents used at the border, and BCC holders undergo extensive 
vetting by CBP and DOS. BCCs contain numerous, layered security 
features, such as enhanced graphics and technology, that provide 
protection against fraudulent use. Using existing technology, CBP can 
very quickly verify the validity of the card, the identity of the 
cardholder, and other pertinent information about the cardholder. The 
use of a BCC card has increased security in processing travelers by 
allowing the ability to affirmatively identify the individual and 
conduct admissibility checks.
    CBP also anticipates that the expansion of the border zone will 
enhance security due to the time savings from an increased use of the 
BCC, which enables CBP to identify more quickly whether travelers 
present a risk, and allows CBP to reallocate resources that would have 
been used for processing these travelers to processing for higher risk 
individuals, both at ports of entry and inland immigration checkpoints. 
Inspections at the border will remain thorough, but the increased use 
of travel documents containing RFID technology, such as the BCC, will 
contribute to reducing individual inspection processing time. Law 
enforcement queries regarding travelers with RFID travel documents, 
such as the BCC, are 20 percent faster than for persons with documents 
containing only a machine-readable zone, and 60 percent faster than 
manual entry of information from a paper document.\5\ The use of RFID 
technology in the BCC enables CBP to more quickly authenticate the 
documents, and thus helps CBP more quickly assess whether the traveler 
presents a risk. Greater use of RFID travel documents such as the BCC 
will allow CBP to focus its personnel time on higher risk individuals 
while providing efficiencies in the flow of legitimate trade and travel 
in the area. CBP anticipates that any delays resulting from the 
increase in traffic will be offset by more efficient processing and 
better use of officers assigned to the port of entry.
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    \5\ Statistics derived from operational data stored in TECS, the 
official system of record for CBP operational and enforcement data.
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Adoption of the Proposal

    After review of the comments, CBP has determined to adopt as final 
the proposed rule published in the Federal Register to extend the 
border zone in New Mexico and to adopt the proposed technical 
corrections to 8 CFR 235.1. A map of the expanded border zone can be 
found in the docket for this rulemaking (docket number USCBP-2012-0030) 
on www.regulations.gov.

Authority

    These regulations are being amended pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1101, 
1103, 1185, 1185 note, and 1225.

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive 
Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory

[[Page 35106]]

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. This final rule is a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' although not an economically significant 
regulatory action, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. 
Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reviewed 
this regulation.
    Mexican nationals entering the United States in New Mexico at land 
border ports of entry are required to present a BCC or a passport and a 
visa in order to be admitted to the United States. Visitors intending 
to travel beyond the border zone, or longer than 30 days (72 hours for 
certain individuals) are also required to obtain a Form I-94 and use it 
in conjunction with their BCC or passport and visa. Currently, if the 
traveler is admitted using a passport and visa, he or she is only able 
to travel up to 25 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico and 
remain in the United States for up to 72 hours without obtaining a Form 
I-94; if the traveler is admitted using a BCC, he or she is able to 
travel up to 25 miles from the border and stay for up to 30 days 
without obtaining a Form I-94. Travelers who obtain a Form I-94 are 
able to travel anywhere in the United States and stay for up to six 
months.\6\
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    \6\ See 8 CFR 235.1(h)(1)(iii) and (v); 8 CFR 212.1(c).
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    However, in practice, travelers generally either enter the United 
States with a BCC and stay within the border zone or obtain a Form I-
94, for use with a passport and visa or with a BCC, to go beyond the 
border zone. In 2011, about 900,000 Mexican nationals entered the 
United States in New Mexico. About sixty percent, or 540,000, of these 
travelers used a BCC. The remainder, 360,000, entered using a Form I-94 
with their passport and visa. There were approximately 136,000 Form I-
94s issued to Mexican nationals at New Mexico land border ports in 
2011. Multiple trips are allowed during the Form I-94's validity 
period, which accounts for the difference in the total number of Form 
I-94 crossings and the total number of Form I-94's issued.
Costs
    This final rule expands the geographic limit for BCC holders 
traveling in New Mexico who have not obtained a Form I-94. Under 
existing regulations, BCC holders can travel anywhere within 25 miles 
of the border without obtaining a Form I-94. This rule allows BCC 
holders to travel anywhere in New Mexico within 55 miles from the U.S.-
Mexico border or as far north as Interstate Highway I-10, whichever is 
farther north, without obtaining a Form I-94. No new infrastructure is 
required to support this change, as CBP already has several ports of 
entry and inland immigration checkpoints in place throughout New 
Mexico. In addition, federal, state, and local law enforcement 
officials have indicated that they do not anticipate any security risks 
with expanding the geographic limit. Given these observations, CBP does 
not anticipate any significant costs associated with this final rule. 
CBP sought comments on the possibility of additional costs associated 
with this rule, but did not receive any.
Benefits
    This expanded border zone will allow Mexican BCC holders to travel 
to many New Mexico destinations that currently require a Form I-94 to 
access, including several cities, state parks, and a major university. 
To the extent that BCC holders are obtaining Form I-94s for the purpose 
of visiting destinations within the expanded border zone, there will be 
fewer Form I-94s that will need to be completed as a result of this 
final rule, generating both time and cost savings for Mexican nationals 
and CBP Officers. At land borders, the Form I-94 application process is 
completed at the port of entry at secondary inspection and includes an 
interview with a CBP Officer, fingerprinting, electronic vetting, 
paperwork, and the payment of a $6 fee. CBP estimates that this process 
takes eight minutes to complete. CBP maintains two ports of entry along 
the Mexican border in New Mexico--Columbus and Santa Teresa. Between 
2010 and 2011, the port of Columbus issued an average of approximately 
27,000 Form I-94s per year, and the port of Santa Teresa issued an 
average of approximately 114,000 Form I-94s per year. CBP does not know 
how many of the travelers who are now required to obtain these forms 
will benefit from the expanded geographic limit, but believes that the 
percentage benefitting from this final rule will be less than 25 
percent. CBP sought comments on this assumption, but did not receive 
any. CBP believes the percentage will be significantly lower for 
crossings at Santa Teresa because those crossings are predominantly 
bound for El Paso, which is already within the current 25-mile border 
crossing card limit. CBP sought comments on this assumption, but did 
not receive any. Eliminating the need for these travelers to leave the 
vehicle to undergo the additional Form I-94 application process at 
secondary inspection and pay the $6 fee could be a significant savings 
for Mexican travelers who are affected, and could benefit the travel 
and tourism industry in the U.S.-Mexico border zone. CBP sought 
comments on the possible savings for Mexican travelers who would no 
longer complete the Form I-94, but did not receive any. CBP will not be 
adversely affected by this loss in Form I-94 fee revenue because this 
fee revenue is used exclusively to pay for the processing of the Form 
I-94. Therefore, the reduction in revenue will be offset by a reduction 
in workload.
    Because this rule will make it unnecessary for some travelers to 
obtain a Form I-94, CBP will be able to inspect travelers more 
efficiently and focus its efforts on higher risk individuals. CBP 
expects this increase in efficiency to more than offset any new 
workload caused by a small increase in travelers to the United States 
that may result from this final rule. CBP may experience additional 
time savings from this rule with the increased use of BCCs as border 
crossing documents. The BCC is one of the most secure travel documents 
used at the border and allows for faster processing at both the port of 
entry and interior immigration checkpoints. BCCs contain numerous, 
layered security features, such as enhanced graphics and technology, 
that provide protection against fraudulent use. Moreover, BCC holders 
undergo extensive vetting by CBP and DOS. Using existing technology, 
CBP can very quickly verify the validity of the card, the identity of 
the cardholder, and other pertinent information about the cardholder. A 
faster inspection will allow CBP to spend more time inspecting higher 
risk individuals and could therefore improve security. Several 
commenters agreed with this conclusion.
    Perhaps the greatest benefit of this final rule is the potential 
for increased economic activity in New Mexico's border region. 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the 
estimated poverty rate for the United States in 2006-2010 was 13.8 
percent.\7\ For the three counties most affected by this change-- 
Do[ntilde]a Ana, Hidalgo, and Luna--the American Community Survey 
estimates poverty rates of 24.5 percent, 22.6 percent, and

[[Page 35107]]

32.8 percent, respectively. Under existing regulations, main population 
centers like Las Cruces, New Mexico and other smaller cities in 
Do[ntilde]a Ana, Hidalgo, and Luna Counties are at a disadvantage in 
attracting travelers from Mexico because they are outside of the 25-
mile border zone. In contrast, many main population centers along the 
Arizona and Texas borders are within border zone limits (75 miles in 
Arizona and 25 miles in Texas) and offered more shopping and recreation 
opportunities for Mexican travelers than New Mexico border zone areas. 
Such limited travel and tourism opportunities in New Mexico's 25-mile 
border zone create significant disincentives for Mexican visitors to 
engage in commerce in New Mexico rather than its neighboring states. 
This border expansion will increase the number of shopping and 
recreation options in New Mexico for Mexican travelers, which may spur 
economic growth in this rule's affected regions. Under existing border 
zone regulations, visitors from Mexico also face road travel 
limitations. BCC holders can travel much of the Interstate Highway I-10 
corridor in Arizona, but are prevented from continuing into New Mexico 
unless they have a Form I-94. This rule expands the border zone enough 
to allow BCC holders to travel on Interstate Highway I-10 from Tucson, 
Arizona to Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, benefitting 
commerce in the entire region. CBP received comments in support of this 
assumption, as outlined in the ``Discussion of Comments'' section. This 
regulatory action is expected to increase access to U.S. markets for 
Mexican travelers and is expected to result in increased travel through 
the New Mexico border region, which will lead to increased sales, 
employment, and local tax revenue. CBP received a number of comments on 
the possible benefits of expanding the U.S.-Mexico border zone. Many 
commenters stated that New Mexico communities within the expanded 
border zone would gain increased sales, jobs, and tax revenue due to 
rises in Mexican tourists. A few commenters also asserted that the 
border expansion would allow Mexican nationals to visit family members 
and medical facilities once outside of the zone limits. These comments 
are discussed in more detail in the ``Discussion of Comments'' section 
above.
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    \7\ U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year 
estimate (2006 to 2010), table S1701. This data can be queried via 
the American Fact Finder database located at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t.
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Net Impact
    In summary, by expanding the border zone for BCC holders, this rule 
will not impose any new costs on the public or on the United States 
government. Further, this rule is expected to reduce costs to Mexican 
visitors to the United States, improve security, and benefit commerce 
in a relatively impoverished region. The majority of comments that CBP 
received supported this conclusion. These comments are discussed in 
more detail in the ``Discussion of Comments'' section above.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This section examines the impact of the rule on small entities as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq.), as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act 
of 1996. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any 
independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field 
that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small 
not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction 
(locality with fewer than 50,000 people).
    This rule directly regulates individuals rather than small 
entities. In addition, this rule is purely beneficial to these 
individuals as it expands the area BCC holders may travel without 
needing to obtain a Form I-94. As explained above, CBP is not aware of 
any direct costs imposed on the public by expanding the geographic 
limit for BCC holders but is aware of a cost savings for the traveling 
public by expanding the geographic limit. CBP sought comment on this 
conclusion but did not receive any. Accordingly, DHS certifies that 
this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    An agency may not conduct, and a person is not required to respond 
to, a collection of information unless the collection of information 
displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. CBP's form that is 
affected by this rule is the Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). CBP 
anticipates that this rule will result in a slight decrease in the 
number of Form I-94s filed annually. The Form I-94 was previously 
reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) under OMB Control 
Number 1651-0111.
    This rule would result in an estimated reduction of 12,450 Forms I-
94 completed by paper, and an estimated reduction of 1,656 burden 
hours. The remaining estimated burden associated with the Form I-94 is 
as follows:
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,387,550.
    Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 4,387,550.
    Estimated Time per Response: 8 minutes.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 583,544.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 235

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Amendments to the Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, CBP is amending 8 CFR 
part 235 as set forth below.

PART 235--INSPECTION OF PERSONS APPLYING FOR ADMISSION

0
1. The general authority citation for part 235 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101 and note, 1103, 1183, 1185 (pursuant 
to E.O. 13323, 69 FR 241, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p.278), 1201, 1224, 
1225, 1226, 1228, 1365a note, 1365b, 1379, 1731-32; Title VII of 
Pub. L. 110-229; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-
458).

0
2. In Sec.  235.1, revise paragraphs (h)(1)(iii) and (h)(1)(v)(A) and 
(B) and add paragraphs (h)(1)(v)(C) and (D) to read as follows:


Sec.  235.1  Scope of examination.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(1)(v) of this section, 
any Mexican national admitted as a nonimmigrant visitor who is:
    (A) Exempt from a visa and passport pursuant to Sec.  212.1(c)(1) 
of this chapter and is admitted for a period not to exceed 30 days to 
visit within 25 miles of the border; or
    (B) In possession of a valid visa and passport and is admitted for 
a period not to exceed 72 hours to visit within 25 miles of the border;
* * * * *
    (v) * * *
    (A) Exempt from a visa and passport pursuant to Sec.  212.1(c)(1) 
of this chapter and is admitted at the Mexican border POEs in the State 
of Arizona at Sasabe, Nogales, Mariposa, Naco or Douglas to visit 
within the State of Arizona within 75 miles of the border for a period 
not to exceed 30 days; or
    (B) In possession of a valid visa and passport and is admitted at 
the Mexican border POEs in the State of Arizona at Sasabe, Nogales, 
Mariposa, Naco or Douglas to visit within the State of Arizona within 
75 miles of the border for a period not to exceed 72 hours; or
    (C) Exempt from visa and passport pursuant to Sec.  212.1(c)(1) of 
this chapter

[[Page 35108]]

and is admitted for a period not to exceed 30 days to visit within the 
State of New Mexico within 55 miles of the border or the area south of 
and including Interstate Highway I-10, whichever is further north; or
    (D) In possession of a valid visa and passport and is admitted for 
a period not to exceed 72 hours to visit within the State of New Mexico 
within 55 miles of the border or the area south of and including 
Interstate Highway I-10, whichever is further north.
* * * * *

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-13946 Filed 6-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P