Execution of Removal Orders; Countries to Which Aliens May Be Removed
The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General publish these final rules to amend their respective agencies' regulations pertaining to removal of aliens. With the Department of Homeland Security final rule, the Secretary of Homeland Security adopts as final, without substantial change, the proposed regulations published at 69 FR 42910 (July 19, 2004). The Department of Homeland Security amends its regulations to clarify that acceptance by a country is not required under specific provisions of section 241(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to remove an alien to that country, and that a ``country'' for the purpose of removal is not premised on the existence or functionality of a government in that country. This rule further clarifies the countries to which an alien may be removed and the situations in which the Secretary of Homeland Security will remove an alien to an alternative or additional country. Additionally, this rule provides technical changes as a result of amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. With the Department of Justice final rule, the Attorney General adopts as final, without substantial change, the proposed regulations at 69 FR 42911 (July 19, 2004). The Department of Justice clarifies the procedure for an alien to designate the country to which he or she would prefer to be removed, provides that the immigration judge shall inform any alien making such a designation that he or she may be removed to another country under section 241(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act in the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security in effecting the foreign policy of the United States, and clarifies the effect of an identification of a country for removal in an immigration judge's order of removal from the United States. This rule clarifies that acceptance by a country is not a factor to be considered by the immigration judge in identifying a country or countries of removal in the administrative order of removal. The Department of Justice also makes technical changes to eliminate unnecessary provisions and update references to reflect the enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.