Seyfarth Synopsis: This is the fourth installment in a series of recommendations to the Biden Administration on immigration reform previously published by the Cato Institute in “Deregulating Legal Immigration: A Blueprint for Agency Action.” Read the first, second, and third installments here. A total of five installments will be published. Please stay tuned for the final update.
Prohibit Regulatory Actions on USCIS Forms
USCIS should amend its regulations to stop automatically incorporating all form instruction changes into its regulations, bypassing notice and public comment procedures.
USCIS requires employers and applicants for immigration benefits to use forms that it creates to collect information.[i] Along with these forms, USCIS publishes detailed instructions that explain to applicants how they must fill out the form and the types of information or evidence that must be provided. USCIS’s regulations currently assert that all form instruction changes are incorporated into the regulations themselves.[ii] The clause allows the agency to evade a slew of federal statutes and presidential directives including the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and OMB Circular A-4.[iii] It allows the agency to effectively change its regulations with only minimal notice under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
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