[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 227 (Monday, November 25, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70313-70316]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28247]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2013-0076]


Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services--008 Refugee Access Verification 
Unit System of Records

AGENCY: Department of Homeland Security, Privacy Office.

ACTION: Notice of Privacy Act System of Records Update.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of 
Homeland Security proposes to update and reissue a current Department 
of Homeland Security system of records titled, ``Department of Homeland 
Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services--008 
Refugee Access Verification Unit System of Records.'' This system of 
records allows the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services to collect information to verify claimed 
relationships between anchor relatives in the United States and their 
overseas family members seeking access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions 
Program under the Priority 3 Family Reunification Program. Eligible 
anchor relatives who were admitted to the United States as refugees or 
granted asylum in the United states may file an Affidavit of 
Relationship for qualifying overseas family members (spouses, unmarried 
children under age 21, and/or parents) to seek access to the U.S. 
Refugee Admission Program for their family members under Priority 3. 
USCIS is updating this system of records to include: (1) An updated 
system location; (2) updated categories of records; (3) updated routine 
uses; (4) a proposed retention schedule; (5) updated data elements used 
to retrieve records; and (6) updated sources of records. Additionally, 
this notice includes non-substantive changes to simplify the formatting 
and text of the previously published notice. This updated system will 
continue to be included in the Department of Homeland Security's 
inventory of record systems.

DATES: Submit comments on or before December 26, 2013. This updated 
system will be effective December 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2013-0076 by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-343-4010.
     Mail: Karen L. Neuman, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy 
Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, please visit http://www.regulations.gov.

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 questions, please contact Karen L. Neuman, (202) 
343-1717, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland 
Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services (USCIS) proposes to update and reissue a current DHS system of 
records titled, ``DHS/USCIS--008 Refugee Access Verification Unit 
System of Records'' (last published December 19, 2008, 73 FR 77795). 
This system of records notice (SORN) includes an updated system 
location, clarified categories of records, an updated retention 
schedule, and additional sources of records.
    USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) Bureau of Population, 
Refugees, and Migration (PRM) work cooperatively to administer the 
overseas component of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The 
mission of the USRAP is to resettle eligible refugees in the United 
States. DOS PRM has overall management responsibility for the USRAP and 
leads in proposing admissions ceilings and defining processing 
priorities, under which individuals may obtain access to the USRAP. The 
USCIS Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate (RAIO), 
Refugee Affairs Division (RAD) is responsible for interviewing refugee 
applicants and adjudicating applications for refugee status.
    Two separate IT systems maintain the information necessary to 
process

[[Page 70314]]

applications for refugee resettlement under the Priority 3 Family 
Reunification Program (P-3): (1) The DOS Worldwide Refugee Admissions 
Processing System (WRAPS) and (2) The Refugee Access Verification Unit 
(RAVU) database. WRAPS maintains information related to all individuals 
referred to the USRAP for resettlement. USCIS has read-only access to 
WRAPS. RAVU officers conduct preliminary paper reviews of all 
Affidavits of Relationship (AOR) (Form DS-7656) filed for P-3 cases 
prior to interview by a USCIS officer overseas.
    All AORs are subject to RAVU officer review. Only those family 
members on AORs cleared by USCIS proceed to a refugee interview with a 
USCIS officer overseas. To support this function, USCIS developed the 
RAVU database using the existing SharePoint Enterprise Collaboration 
Network (ECN) to track and manage the review of AORs, as well as 
generate reports, forms, and letters. ECN is a virtual work environment 
that allows users to collaborate, share information, and enhance 
productivity. RAVU allows users to enter data into a site through 
manual typing and attaching documents in a virtual space. Data from 
AORs and corresponding documents from the A-file are uploaded from 
individual computers to a secured centralized site in ECN.
    USCIS is republishing this SORN to provide public notice of the 
following. The location of the system has been updated to note that 
RAVU records are only electronically maintained. The categories of 
records have been updated to clarify that DNA results and other 
information may be collected on anchor relatives, qualifying family 
members, derivatives, and Type C add-on relatives. DHS has updated 
Routine Use H to clarify that records will be shared with DOS and 
``their contractors, agents, grantees, experts, consultants, or others 
performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative 
agreement, or other assignment for DOS, when necessary to accomplish an 
agency function related to this system of records.'' The retention and 
disposal section has been updated to reflect a proposed retention 
schedule that would reduce the retention of master file records from 20 
years to 15 years. Retrievability has been updated to note that records 
may be retrieved by the anchor relative's A-Number or the Pre-Case ID 
assigned to the AOR. Sources of records have been updated to include A-
files and other DHS systems. Additionally, this notice includes non-
substantive changes to simplify the formatting and text of the 
previously published notice.
    Information contained in DHS/USCIS--008 Refugee Access Verification 
Unit is afforded the confidentiality protections contained in 8 CFR 
208.6, which strictly limits the disclosure of information to third 
parties. 8 CFR 208.6 specifically covers the confidentiality of asylum 
applicants who are in the United States. By DHS policy, the 
confidentiality provisions for asylum seekers and asylees have been 
extended to refugee applicants. Information may not be disclosed 
without the written consent of the applicant, except as permitted by 8 
CFR 208.6 or at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security or 
the Attorney General of the United States. This updated system will 
continue to be included in DHS' inventory of record systems.

II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information practice principles in a 
statutory framework governing the means by which federal government 
agencies collect, maintain, use, and disseminate individuals' records. 
The Privacy Act applies to information that is maintained in a ``system 
of records.'' A ``system of records'' is a group of any records under 
the control of an agency for which information is retrieved by the name 
of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other 
identifying particular assigned to the individual. In the Privacy Act, 
an individual is defined to encompass U.S. citizens and lawful 
permanent residents. As a matter of policy, DHS extends administrative 
Privacy Act protections to all individuals where systems of records 
maintain information on U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and 
visitors.
    Below is the description of the DHS/USCIS--008 Refugee Access 
Verification Unit System of Records.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DHS has provided a report of 
this system of records to the Office of Management and Budget and to 
Congress.
System of Records
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services (USCIS)--008.

System name:
    DHS/USCIS--008 Refugee Access Verification Unit.

Security classification:
    Unclassified, sensitive.

System location:
    USCIS electronically maintains records on the Refugee Access 
Verification Unit (RAVU) SharePoint Enterprise Collaboration Network 
(ECN) site, which is accessible at the Refugee Affairs Division 
Headquarters in Washington, DC and field locations overseas.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:
    Categories of individuals covered by this system include: (1) 
Anchor relatives who have filed an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) for 
qualified family members overseas to gain access to the U.S. Refugee 
Admissions Program (USRAP) under Priority 3; (2) qualifying family 
members (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under age 21) of the 
anchor relative who are listed in Section II of the AOR; (3) 
derivatives (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) of the 
qualifying family member listed in Section II of the AOR; (4) 
individuals who qualify as Type C add-ons and are listed in Section II 
of the AOR; and (5) AOR preparers who work for domestic resettlement 
agencies and complete the AOR based on information provided by the 
anchor relative.

Categories of records in the system:
    Information about the anchor relative gathered from documents in 
the A-file may include:
     Full Name;
     Physical and Mailing Address;
     Telephone and Fax Numbers;
     Date of Birth;
     Gender;
     A-Number;
     Social Security number;
     Immigration Status;
     Date of Arrival in the U.S.;
     Date Asylum/Refugee status was granted;
     Mother's Maiden Name;
     Documents establishing identity and claimed relationship 
(i.e., marriage record, civil or criminal history, medical records, 
education records);
     Biometric identifiers (i.e., weight, color of eyes and 
hair, and facial marks);
     Photographic Facial Image;
     Civil or criminal history information;
     Reports of investigations or derogatory information 
obtained from DHS and other federal systems;
     Refugee and asylum interview notes and assessments; and
     Other unique identifiers, including information found in 
the A-File used to facilitate a determination.
    Information about the anchor relative collected in the AOR and 
through the RAVU review may include:
     Full Name;
     Date of Birth;
     Gender;

[[Page 70315]]

     Marital status
     City/Country of Birth;
     A-Number
     Immigration Status;
     Date of Arrival in the U.S.;
     Date Asylum/Refugee status was granted;
     Names, dates of birth, and locations of immediate 
relatives; and
     DNA Results--confirmed or not confirmed.
    Information about overseas family members may include:
     Full Name;
     Gender;
     Date of Birth;
     City/Country of Birth;
     Nationality;
     Marital Status;
     A-Number (if applicable);
     Relationship to Anchor Relative;
     DNA Results--confirmed or not confirmed;
     Photographic facial image;
     Relationship to qualifying family member;
     Civil or criminal history information (if available); and
     Reports of investigations or derogatory information 
obtained from DHS or other federal systems (if available).
    Information about preparer may include:
     Preparer's name;
     Domestic resettlement agency's name.
    Information about the case determination may include:

     RAVU Checklists
     Decision Letters
     Summary of Findings, including inconsistencies found 
between claimed relationships in the AOR and available USCIS records
     Pre-Case ID Numbers

Authority for maintenance of the system:
    Authority for maintaining this system is contained in Sections 1157 
and 1522(b) of the INA, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1157, 1522(b)).

Purpose(s):
    The purpose of this system is to track and manage the review of 
AORs submitted by anchor relatives in the United States on behalf of 
certain qualifying family members overseas who are seeking 
consideration for refugee resettlement under the Priority Three Family 
Reunification Program.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories 
of users and the purposes of such uses:
    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 
552a(b) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records or 
information contained in this system may be disclosed outside DHS as a 
routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows: Note: Even when 
a valid routine use permits disclosure of information from this system 
of records to a third party, in some cases such disclosure may not be 
permissible because of confidentiality laws and policies that limit the 
sharing of information regarding individuals applying for certain 
immigration benefits. Information in this system of records contains 
information relating to persons who have pending or approved 
applications for asylum or refugee status and should not be disclosed 
pursuant to a routine use unless disclosure is otherwise permissible 
under the confidentiality statutes, regulations, or policies applicable 
to that information. These confidentiality provisions do not prevent 
DHS from disclosing information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) 
and U.S. Attorneys' Offices as part of an ongoing criminal or civil 
investigation.
    A. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), including U.S. Attorney 
Offices, or other federal agency conducting litigation or in 
proceedings before any court, adjudicative or administrative body, when 
it is relevant or necessary to the litigation and one of the following 
is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation:
    1. DHS or any component thereof;
    2. Any employee or former employee of DHS in his/her official 
capacity;
    3. Any employee or former employee of DHS in his/her individual 
capacity where DOJ or DHS has agreed to represent the employee; or
    4. The United States or any agency thereof.
    B. To a congressional office from the record of an individual in 
response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the 
request of the individual to whom the record pertains.
    C. To the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or 
General Services Administration pursuant to records management 
inspections being conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 
2906.
    D. To an agency or organization for the purpose of performing audit 
or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information 
as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function.
    E. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when:
    1. DHS suspects or has confirmed that the security or 
confidentiality of information in the system of records has been 
compromised;
    2. DHS has determined that as a result of the suspected or 
confirmed compromise, there is a risk of identity theft or fraud, harm 
to economic or property interests, harm to an individual, or harm to 
the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs 
(whether maintained by DHS or another agency or entity) that rely upon 
the compromised information; and
    3. The disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is 
reasonably necessary to assist in connection with DHS' efforts to 
respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, 
or remedy such harm as limited by 8 CFR 208.6.
    F. To contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, 
and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, 
cooperative agreement, or other assignment for DHS, when necessary to 
accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. 
Individuals provided information under this routine use are subject to 
the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations under 8 CFR 208.6 on 
disclosure as are applicable to DHS officers and employees.
    G. To an appropriate federal, state, tribal, local, international, 
or foreign law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority 
charged with investigating or prosecuting a violation or enforcing or 
implementing a law, rule, regulation, or order, where a record, either 
on its face or in conjunction with other information, indicates a 
violation or potential violation of law, which includes criminal, 
civil, or regulatory violations and such disclosure is proper and 
consistent with the official duties of the person making the 
disclosure.
    H. To DOS, their contractors, agents, grantees, experts, 
consultants, or others performing or working on a contract, service, 
grant, cooperative agreement, or other assignment for DOS, when 
necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of 
records.
    I. To an attorney or representative who is acting on behalf of an 
individual covered by this system of records (as defined in 8 CFR 
1.1(j)) in conjunction with any proceeding before DHS/USCIS or the 
Executive Office for Immigration Review.
    J. To a former employee of the Department for purposes of 
responding to an official inquiry by a Federal, State, or local 
government entity or professional licensing authority, in accordance 
with applicable Department regulations; or facilitating

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communications with a former employee that may be necessary for 
personnel-related or other official purposes where the Department 
requires information and/or consultation assistance from the former 
employee regarding a matter within that person's former area of 
responsibility.
    K. To Federal and foreign government intelligence or 
counterterrorism agencies or components where DHS becomes aware of an 
indication of a threat or potential threat to national or international 
security, or where such use is to assist in anti-terrorism efforts and 
disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official 
duties of the person making the disclosure.

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:
    None.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, 
and disposing of records in the system:
Storage:
    Records in this system are stored electronically in secure 
facilities in a locked drawer behind a locked door. The records may be 
stored on CD, DVD, or other digital media.

Retrievability:
    Records may be retrieved by the anchor relative's A-Number or the 
Pre-Case ID assigned to the AOR.

Safeguards:
    Records in this system are safeguarded in accordance with 
applicable rules and policies, including all applicable DHS automated 
systems security and access policies. Strict controls have been imposed 
to minimize the risk of compromising the information that is being 
stored. Access to the computer system containing the records in this 
system is limited to those individuals who have a need to know the 
information for the performance of their official duties and who have 
appropriate clearances or permissions.

Retention and disposal:
    NARA approved the RAVU Records [N1-563-04-05] Retention Schedule. 
USCIS is working with NARA to supersede/revise the RAVU Retention 
Schedule to reflect a 15-year retention of the Master File instead of 
the current 20 years.

System Manager and address:
    Chief, Refugee Affairs Division, Refugee, Asylum, and International 
Operations Directorate, 111 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20529.

Notification procedure:
    Individuals seeking notification of and access to any record 
contained in this system of records, or seeking to contest its content, 
may submit a request in writing to the National Records Center (NRC) 
FOIA/PA Office, P.O. Box 648010, Lee's Summit, MO, 64064-8010. The 
NRC's contact information can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/foia under 
``Contacts.'' If an individual believes more than one component 
maintains Privacy Act records concerning him or her, the individual may 
submit the request to the Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Freedom of 
Information Act Officer, Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray 
Lane SW., Building 410, STOP-0655, Washington, DC 20528.
    When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or 
any other Departmental system of records, your request must conform 
with the Privacy Act regulations set forth in 6 CFR Part 5. You must 
first verify your identity, meaning that you must provide your full 
name, current address, and date and place of birth. You must sign your 
request, and your signature must either be notarized or submitted under 
28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty 
of perjury as a substitute for notarization. While no specific form is 
required, you may obtain forms for this purpose from the Chief Privacy 
Officer and Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer, http://www.dhs.gov/foia or 1-866-431-0486. In addition, you should:
     Explain why you believe the Department would have 
information on you;
     Identify which component(s) of the Department you believe 
may have the information about you;
     Specify when you believe the records would have been 
created; and
     Provide any other information that will help the FOIA 
staff determine which DHS component agency may have responsive records; 
and

    If your request is seeking records pertaining to another living 
individual, you must include a statement from that individual 
certifying his/her agreement for you to access his/her records.

    Without the above information, the component(s) may not be able to 
conduct an effective search, and your request may be denied due to lack 
of specificity or lack of compliance with applicable regulations.

Record access procedures:
    See ``Notification procedure'' above.

Contesting record procedures:
    See ``Notification procedure'' above.

Record source categories:
    Information contained in this system of records is obtained from 
the individual who is the subject of these records. Other information 
sources include family members, petitions, A-File, information 
collected from federal databases for security screening checks, 
Resettlement Support Centers, the Refugee Processing Center, 
resettlement agencies, international organizations, and local sources 
at overseas sites.

Exemptions claimed for the system:
    None.

    Dated: November 15, 2013.
Karen L. Neuman,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2013-28247 Filed 11-22-13; 8:45 am]
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