Rescission of Discretionary Parole Policies Relating to Nationals of the Russian Federation Seeking Entry Into Guam and/or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a Temporary Visit for Business or Pleasure, 46029-46031 [2019-18841]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 170 / Tuesday, September 3, 2019 / Notices Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.) Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2019–18879 Filed 8–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [FR Doc. 2019–18885 Filed 8–30–19; 8:45 am] Federal Emergency Management Agency BILLING CODE 9111–23–P [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4438– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2019–0001] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Oklahoma; Amendment No. 8 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4420– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2019–0001] This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Oklahoma (FEMA–4438–DR), dated June 1, 2019, and related determinations. SUMMARY: This amendment was issued August 13, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Oklahoma is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of June 1, 2019. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES DATES: Tillman County for Public Assistance [Categories A–G], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program. Okmulgee and Ottawa Counties for Public Assistance [Categories A–G], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program (already designated for Individual Assistance). Noble County for Public Assistance [Categories A–G] (already designated for Individual Assistance and assistance for emergency protective measures [Category B], limited to direct federal assistance under the Public assistance program). The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, 16:24 Aug 30, 2019 (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2019–18887 Filed 8–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–23–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Rescission of Discretionary Parole Policies Relating to Nationals of the Russian Federation Seeking Entry Into Guam and/or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a Temporary Visit for Business or Pleasure Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 46029 Jkt 247001 Nebraska; Amendment No. 10 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Nebraska (FEMA–4420–DR), dated March 21, 2019, and related determinations. SUMMARY: This amendment was issued August 13, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Nebraska is hereby amended to include the following area among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of March 21, 2019. DATES: Dawson County for Individual Assistance (already designated for Public Assistance). The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Under discretionary parole policies, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted parole on a case-by-case basis to nationals of the Russian Federation (Russia) to enter Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for temporary visits for business or pleasure for up to 45 days provided the traveler meets certain conditions. DHS is publishing this notice to announce to the public that it plans to end this discretionary parole policy. This discretionary change in policy does not preclude affected individuals from applying for parole, which DHS will grant on a case-by-case basis only where the applicant demonstrates an urgent humanitarian or a significant public benefit reason for parole and the applicant merits a favorable exercise of discretion. DATES: DHS will be ending these uses of its discretionary parole authority as of October 3, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Dougherty, Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Department of Homeland Security, 2707 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20528–0445. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background On October 21, 2009, former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that, effective November 28, 2009, DHS would favorably consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for discretionary parole into the CNMI from eligible nationals of Russia who are temporary visitors for business or pleasure. Effective January 15, 2012, this policy was extended to Russian visitors to Guam. E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 46030 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 170 / Tuesday, September 3, 2019 / Notices Secretary Napolitano justified this exercise of parole based on her discretionary parole authority and the authority to administer the Nation’s immigration laws. See Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (INA) secs. 103(a), 212(d)(5); 8 U.S.C. 1103(a), 1182(d)(5). Although parole is an authorized entry into the United States, it does not constitute an admission to the United States. INA secs. 101(a)(13)(B), 212(d)(5)(A); 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(13)(B), 1182(d)(5)(A). Parole may be granted to an alien, regardless of her or his inadmissibility, as a matter of discretion ‘‘on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.’’ INA sec. 212(d)(5)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)(A). Under the 2009 and 2012 discretionary parole policies, nationals of Russia may be allowed to enter Guam and the CNMI and to travel between Guam and the CNMI, visa-free for a period of stay up to 45 days, provided the traveler meets certain conditions. Pursuant to these policies, nationals of Russia seeking entry are required to: (i) Possess a valid, unexpired machinereadable passport; (ii) not have previously violated the terms of any prior travel to the United States; and (iii) present a valid completed CBP Form I–94, Arrival/Departure Record and Form I–736, Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Information. Visitors who are paroled under this authority may not engage in local employment or labor for hire. Parole authorization is limited to Guam and the CNMI only and does not permit travel to another location within the United States. After careful consideration, and consistent with the President’s directive in Executive Order (E.O.) 13767 of January 25, 2017, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, 82 FR 8793 (Jan. 30, 2017), as well as authorities under the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), Public Law 110–229, which, among other things, established the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (GCVWP), the Secretary of Homeland Security has decided to terminate the 2009 and 2012 policies concerning the exercise of discretionary parole authority for Russian nationals. In Executive Order 13767, the President directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to ‘‘take appropriate action to ensure that parole authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) is exercised only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain language of the statute, and in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Aug 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 public benefit derived from such parole.’’ Pursuant to E.O. 13767, the Secretary has reviewed this use of discretionary parole authority and concluded that the policy should be terminated, for numerous reasons, effective October 3, 2019. The previous announcement allowing for parole effectively has invited nationals of Russia to seek parole to visit Guam and the CNMI rather than having them obtain visas. The policy broadly announced to this population that a visitor visa would not be required to travel to Guam and the CNMI if the alien met the specified requirements. Under this policy, the parole authority effectively has been used as a substitute for the visa process. Moreover, the Guam-CNMI parole policy for Russian nationals was designed as a temporary measure to support tourism in Guam and the CNMI while allowing for due consideration of Russia as a potential participating country under the GCVWP. See INA sec. 212(l)(3), 8 U.S.C. 1182(l)(3). In the nearly 10-year period since the parole policies were announced, Russia has not been considered eligible for the GCVWP. And the parole authority has been exercised far too expansively than originally intended. For Guam, parole accounted for approximately 99 percent of all Russian visitors in 2012 and 85 percent of all Russian visitors in 2017. Similarly, parole accounted for approximately 90 percent of all Russian visitors to the CNMI in 2010 and 82 percent of all Russian visitors in 2017. Since the 2012 expansion of the discretionary parole authority for Russian nationals seeking entry into Guam, overstays increased from 26 in FY 2012 to 147 in FY 2017, or by 465 percent. While this represents a relatively small percentage of overall Russian visitors in the CNMI and Guam, the increase in overstays is in and of itself a security concern for DHS. Benefits of Requiring Nonimmigrant Visas Discontinuing discretionary parole and requiring Russian nationals to obtain a visa to visit the United States for business or pleasure enhances U.S. safety and national security because it requires visa applicants to be screened by the U.S. Department of State. As a result, these visa applicants generally will undergo advance screening and recurrent vetting that includes an inperson visa interview. The perceived negative economic impact of discontinuing discretionary parole Russian nationals in the CNMI and Guam would be offset by admission of PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the availability of traditional B–1 visas for business and B–2 visas for pleasure. Currently, the vast majority of applications by Russian nationals for B– 1/B–2 visas are approved. If admitted in B–1 or B–2 status, individuals generally will be afforded an authorized period of stay of approximately 180 days—four times longer than the current 45-day cap under the more restrictive parole authority. DHS acknowledges that certain businesses in Guam and the CNMI may have been formed in reliance on commerce and tourism arising out of this parole policy and could be negatively impacted by its termination. Likewise, Russian nationals may have developed business or personal connections to Guam or the CNMI pursuant to the policy and may be inconvenienced by its termination. DHS believes, however, that any such impacts should be largely mitigated by the fact that bona fide visitors for business or pleasure from Russia generally would be able to obtain a visa to allow them to visit Guam or the CNMI. To the extent that travelers from Russia are deterred from travel to Guam and the CNMI due to the visa requirement, however, DHS believes that the security, immigration, and border management interests of the United States outweigh the potential economic or personal interests that may be adversely affected. Notice of Rescission of Discretionary Parole Policy Relating to Nationals of Russia Seeking Entry Into Guam and/or the CNMI for a Temporary Visit for Business or Pleasure This notice announces to the public that as of October 3, 2019, DHS rescinds its policy relating to the exercise of its discretionary parole authority for nationals of Russia who are seeking entry into Guam or the CNMI solely for a temporary visit for business or pleasure. As of October 3, 2019, CBP will no longer give favorable consideration to parole requests simply because the individual is a national of Russia seeking to enter CNMI or Guam for tourism or a business visit. Individuals who have already been paroled into Guam and/or the CNMI will maintain parole until the expiration of that parole period unless there are other grounds for parole termination consistent with DHS regulations at 8 CFR 212.5(e). As of October 3, 2019, nationals from Russia traveling to Guam and/or the CNMI for a temporary visit for business or pleasure should consider seeking a B–1 or B–2 nonimmigrant visa from a E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 170 / Tuesday, September 3, 2019 / Notices U.S. Embassy or Consulate, prior to their travel to Guam. This discretionary change in policy does not preclude affected individuals from applying for parole by filing USCIS Form I–131, Application for Travel Document, consistent with the instructions for that form. In accordance with section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)), parole will only be issued on a case-by-case basis and only where the applicant demonstrates an urgent humanitarian or a significant public benefit reason for parole and that applicant merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Any alien may request parole to travel to the United States, but an alien does not have a right to parole. Kevin K. McAleenan, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–18841 Filed 8–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2019–N079; FXES11140800000–190–FF08ECAR00] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat, City of Highland, San Bernardino County, CA; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments and information. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the City of Highland (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat incidental to construction in San Bernardino County, California. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP) and the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which is also available for review. DATES: We must receive your written comments on or before October 3, 2019. ADDRESSES: khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Aug 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents by the following methods: • Internet: https://www.fws.gov/ carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html. • Telephone: 760–322–2070. • U.S. Mail: Attn: Assistant Field Supervisor, Palm Springs Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 777 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 208, Palm Springs, CA 92262. • In-Person: You may examine the documents by appointment during regular business hours at the Palm Springs Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). Please call to make an appointment (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so in writing by any of the following methods: • Online: https://www.fws.gov/ carlsbad/HCPs/HCP_Docs.html. • Email: fw8cfwocomments@fws.gov. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Palm Springs Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). • Fax: 760–322–4648. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karin Cleary-Rose, by telephone at 760– 322–2070, ext. 406, via email at karin_ cleary-rose@fws.gov, or via the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from the City of Highland, California (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests an ITP to take the federally endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus) incidental to the construction of a storm drain outlet (project) in San Bernardino County, California. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP) and the Service’s preliminary determination that the HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which is also available for public review. Project The applicant requests a 5-year ITP to take the San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR) incidental to the temporary impact of 0.10 acres (ac) of occupied SBKR foraging and sheltering habitat for the construction of storm drain outlet PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46031 located on a 21-ac parcel, Assessor’s Parcel Numbers 1201–321–36 and 1201–311–01, in Sections 4, Township 1 South, Range 3 West, San Bernardino County, California. The applicant proposes to mitigate for take of the SBKR through (1) relocation of all SBKR captured on the project area by livetrapping and release into preestablished artificial burrows immediately outside of the project area and (2) restoration and/or enhancement of 0.14 ac of SBKR habitat on the project site. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made available to the public. While you may request that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Our Preliminary Determination The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant’s project, including land clearing, infrastructure building, and the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the SBKR and the environment. Therefore, we have preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for categorical exclusion and the HCP is low effect under our NEPA regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46. 210. A low-effect HCP is one that would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not over time result in significant cumulative effects to environmental values or resources. Next Steps The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received to determine whether to issue the requested permit. We will also conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA to evaluate the effects of the proposed take. After considering the above findings, we will determine whether the permit issuance criteria of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service will issue the permit to the City of Highland. E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 170 (Tuesday, September 3, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46029-46031]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18841]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY


Rescission of Discretionary Parole Policies Relating to Nationals 
of the Russian Federation Seeking Entry Into Guam and/or the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a Temporary Visit for 
Business or Pleasure

AGENCY: Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under discretionary parole policies, Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) has granted parole on a case-by-case basis to nationals 
of the Russian Federation (Russia) to enter Guam and the Commonwealth 
of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for temporary visits for 
business or pleasure for up to 45 days provided the traveler meets 
certain conditions. DHS is publishing this notice to announce to the 
public that it plans to end this discretionary parole policy. This 
discretionary change in policy does not preclude affected individuals 
from applying for parole, which DHS will grant on a case-by-case basis 
only where the applicant demonstrates an urgent humanitarian or a 
significant public benefit reason for parole and the applicant merits a 
favorable exercise of discretion.

DATES: DHS will be ending these uses of its discretionary parole 
authority as of October 3, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Dougherty, Office of 
Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Department of Homeland Security, 2707 
Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20528-0445.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On October 21, 2009, former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet 
Napolitano announced that, effective November 28, 2009, DHS would 
favorably consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for discretionary 
parole into the CNMI from eligible nationals of Russia who are 
temporary visitors for business or pleasure. Effective January 15, 
2012, this policy was extended to Russian visitors to Guam.

[[Page 46030]]

    Secretary Napolitano justified this exercise of parole based on her 
discretionary parole authority and the authority to administer the 
Nation's immigration laws. See Immigration and Nationality Act, as 
amended (INA) secs. 103(a), 212(d)(5); 8 U.S.C. 1103(a), 1182(d)(5). 
Although parole is an authorized entry into the United States, it does 
not constitute an admission to the United States. INA secs. 
101(a)(13)(B), 212(d)(5)(A); 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(13)(B), 1182(d)(5)(A). 
Parole may be granted to an alien, regardless of her or his 
inadmissibility, as a matter of discretion ``on a case-by-case basis 
for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.'' INA 
sec. 212(d)(5)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)(A).
    Under the 2009 and 2012 discretionary parole policies, nationals of 
Russia may be allowed to enter Guam and the CNMI and to travel between 
Guam and the CNMI, visa-free for a period of stay up to 45 days, 
provided the traveler meets certain conditions. Pursuant to these 
policies, nationals of Russia seeking entry are required to: (i) 
Possess a valid, unexpired machine-readable passport; (ii) not have 
previously violated the terms of any prior travel to the United States; 
and (iii) present a valid completed CBP Form I-94, Arrival/Departure 
Record and Form I-736, Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Information. Visitors who 
are paroled under this authority may not engage in local employment or 
labor for hire. Parole authorization is limited to Guam and the CNMI 
only and does not permit travel to another location within the United 
States.
    After careful consideration, and consistent with the President's 
directive in Executive Order (E.O.) 13767 of January 25, 2017, Border 
Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, 82 FR 8793 (Jan. 30, 
2017), as well as authorities under the Consolidated Natural Resources 
Act of 2008 (CNRA), Public Law 110-229, which, among other things, 
established the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (GCVWP), the Secretary of 
Homeland Security has decided to terminate the 2009 and 2012 policies 
concerning the exercise of discretionary parole authority for Russian 
nationals.
    In Executive Order 13767, the President directed the Secretary of 
Homeland Security to ``take appropriate action to ensure that parole 
authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) is 
exercised only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain 
language of the statute, and in all circumstances only when an 
individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant 
public benefit derived from such parole.''
    Pursuant to E.O. 13767, the Secretary has reviewed this use of 
discretionary parole authority and concluded that the policy should be 
terminated, for numerous reasons, effective October 3, 2019. The 
previous announcement allowing for parole effectively has invited 
nationals of Russia to seek parole to visit Guam and the CNMI rather 
than having them obtain visas. The policy broadly announced to this 
population that a visitor visa would not be required to travel to Guam 
and the CNMI if the alien met the specified requirements. Under this 
policy, the parole authority effectively has been used as a substitute 
for the visa process.
    Moreover, the Guam-CNMI parole policy for Russian nationals was 
designed as a temporary measure to support tourism in Guam and the CNMI 
while allowing for due consideration of Russia as a potential 
participating country under the GCVWP. See INA sec. 212(l)(3), 8 U.S.C. 
1182(l)(3). In the nearly 10-year period since the parole policies were 
announced, Russia has not been considered eligible for the GCVWP.
    And the parole authority has been exercised far too expansively 
than originally intended. For Guam, parole accounted for approximately 
99 percent of all Russian visitors in 2012 and 85 percent of all 
Russian visitors in 2017. Similarly, parole accounted for approximately 
90 percent of all Russian visitors to the CNMI in 2010 and 82 percent 
of all Russian visitors in 2017.
    Since the 2012 expansion of the discretionary parole authority for 
Russian nationals seeking entry into Guam, overstays increased from 26 
in FY 2012 to 147 in FY 2017, or by 465 percent. While this represents 
a relatively small percentage of overall Russian visitors in the CNMI 
and Guam, the increase in overstays is in and of itself a security 
concern for DHS.

Benefits of Requiring Nonimmigrant Visas

    Discontinuing discretionary parole and requiring Russian nationals 
to obtain a visa to visit the United States for business or pleasure 
enhances U.S. safety and national security because it requires visa 
applicants to be screened by the U.S. Department of State. As a result, 
these visa applicants generally will undergo advance screening and 
recurrent vetting that includes an in-person visa interview. The 
perceived negative economic impact of discontinuing discretionary 
parole Russian nationals in the CNMI and Guam would be offset by 
admission of the availability of traditional B-1 visas for business and 
B-2 visas for pleasure. Currently, the vast majority of applications by 
Russian nationals for B-1/B-2 visas are approved. If admitted in B-1 or 
B-2 status, individuals generally will be afforded an authorized period 
of stay of approximately 180 days--four times longer than the current 
45-day cap under the more restrictive parole authority.
    DHS acknowledges that certain businesses in Guam and the CNMI may 
have been formed in reliance on commerce and tourism arising out of 
this parole policy and could be negatively impacted by its termination. 
Likewise, Russian nationals may have developed business or personal 
connections to Guam or the CNMI pursuant to the policy and may be 
inconvenienced by its termination. DHS believes, however, that any such 
impacts should be largely mitigated by the fact that bona fide visitors 
for business or pleasure from Russia generally would be able to obtain 
a visa to allow them to visit Guam or the CNMI. To the extent that 
travelers from Russia are deterred from travel to Guam and the CNMI due 
to the visa requirement, however, DHS believes that the security, 
immigration, and border management interests of the United States 
outweigh the potential economic or personal interests that may be 
adversely affected.

Notice of Rescission of Discretionary Parole Policy Relating to 
Nationals of Russia Seeking Entry Into Guam and/or the CNMI for a 
Temporary Visit for Business or Pleasure

    This notice announces to the public that as of October 3, 2019, DHS 
rescinds its policy relating to the exercise of its discretionary 
parole authority for nationals of Russia who are seeking entry into 
Guam or the CNMI solely for a temporary visit for business or pleasure.
    As of October 3, 2019, CBP will no longer give favorable 
consideration to parole requests simply because the individual is a 
national of Russia seeking to enter CNMI or Guam for tourism or a 
business visit. Individuals who have already been paroled into Guam 
and/or the CNMI will maintain parole until the expiration of that 
parole period unless there are other grounds for parole termination 
consistent with DHS regulations at 8 CFR 212.5(e).
    As of October 3, 2019, nationals from Russia traveling to Guam and/
or the CNMI for a temporary visit for business or pleasure should 
consider seeking a B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant visa from a

[[Page 46031]]

U.S. Embassy or Consulate, prior to their travel to Guam.
    This discretionary change in policy does not preclude affected 
individuals from applying for parole by filing USCIS Form I-131, 
Application for Travel Document, consistent with the instructions for 
that form. In accordance with section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 
1182(d)(5)), parole will only be issued on a case-by-case basis and 
only where the applicant demonstrates an urgent humanitarian or a 
significant public benefit reason for parole and that applicant merits 
a favorable exercise of discretion. Any alien may request parole to 
travel to the United States, but an alien does not have a right to 
parole.

Kevin K. McAleenan,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-18841 Filed 8-30-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-97-P