[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 21, 2007)]
[Page 65588]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-22679]



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2426-07; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2007-0043]
RIN 1615-ZA61

Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This Notice announces U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services' Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program. Under this 
program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is offering 
beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions an 
opportunity to receive a discretionary grant of parole to come to the 
United States rather than remain in Cuba to apply for lawful permanent 
resident status. The purpose of the program is to expedite family 
reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to 
the United States and to discourage irregular and inherently dangerous 
maritime migration.

DATES: This Notice is effective November 21, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Manpreet S. Dhanjal, Refugee Officer, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland 
Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 
20529, Telephone (202) 272-1613.


I. Background

    In furtherance of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords, the United 
States endeavors to provide a minimum of 20,000 travel documents 
annually to aspiring Cuban emigrants. See Joint Communiqu[eacute] on 
Migration, U.S.-Cuba (Sept. 9, 1994) (known together with the May 2, 
1995 Joint Statement as the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords (hereinafter 
``Migration Accords'')). In so doing, the United States offers a safe, 
legal, and orderly means of coming to the United States. To date, the 
majority of travel documents issued under the Migration Accords fall 
into one of three programs: family-based immigrant visas; refugee 
resettlement; and parole under the Special Cuban Migration Program, 
also referred to as the Cuban Lottery. For information on the Cuban 
Lottery, see http://havana.usinterestsection.gov/diversity_program.html.
    Two aspects of the existing array of migration programs limit the 
ability of the United States to effectively promote safe, legal, and 
orderly migration as an alternative to maritime crossings. First, with 
the exception of ``immediate relatives'' (e.g., spouse, unmarried 
child) of U.S. citizens (USCs), the number of family-based immigrant 
visas that are available in any given year is limited by statute. See 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections 201(c), 202(a) & 203, 8 
U.S.C. 1151(c), 1152(a) & 1153. The statutory caps have resulted in 
long waiting periods before family members remaining in Cuba may rejoin 
the USCs and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) residing in the United 
States who petitioned for them. Second, the United States has not been 
permitted to hold a new registration period since 1998 due to 
constraints placed on the Cuban Lottery program by the Cuban 
Government. This greatly reduces the pool of individuals to whom the 
United States may issue travel documents.
    For these reasons, this Notice adds the Cuban Family Reunification 
Parole (CFRP) Program to the list of migrant programs based on which 
the United States issues travel documents under the Migration Accords.

II. The CFRP Program

    Under the CFRP Program, USCIS may exercise its discretionary parole 
authority to permit eligible Cuban nationals to come to the United 
States to rejoin their family members. See INA section 212(d)(5)(A), 8 
U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)(A) (permits parole of an alien into the United States 
for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit); see 
also 8 CFR 212.5(c) & (d) (discretionary authority for granting 
parole). Granting parole to eligible aliens under the CFRP Program 
serves the significant public benefit of enabling the United States to 
meet its commitments under the Migration Accords as well as reducing 
the perceived need for family members left behind in Cuba to make 
irregular and inherently dangerous attempts to arrive in the United 
States through unsafe maritime crossings, thereby discouraging alien 
smuggling as a means to enter the United States. Whether to parole a 
particular alien remains, however, a case-by-case, discretionary 

III. Participation in the CFRP Program

    USCIS will offer participation in the CFRP Program to Cuban 
nationals who reside in Cuba and who are the beneficiaries (including 
any accompanying or following to join spouse and children (see INA 
section 203(d), 8 U.S.C. 1153(d)) of a properly filed Form I-130, 
``Petition for Alien Relative,'' that has been approved, but for which 
an immigrant visa is not yet immediately available.
    Under the CFRP Program, USCIS or the Department of State's National 
Visa Center (NVC) will mail written notice to U.S.-based USC and LPR 
petitioners whose Forms I-130 have been approved regarding their 
beneficiary's eligibility to participate in the CFRP Program and the 
procedures for requesting parole. However, participation in the CFRP is 
voluntary. If USCIS exercises its discretion to grant parole, it will 
issue the necessary U.S. travel documents to the beneficiary in Cuba. 
These travel documents will enable the beneficiary to travel safely to 
the United States to rejoin his or her family members.
    Participation in the CFRP Program is not available to aliens who 
qualify as ``immediate relatives'' under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) of the 
INA, 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i). The extraordinary benefit of parole is 
not needed for these aliens, since they may seek visas for travel to 
the United States immediately upon the approval of Form I-130.
    Additional information about the CFRP Program will be posted at  

     Dated: November 15, 2007.
Emilio T. Gonzalez,
Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 [FR Doc. E7-22679 Filed 11-20-07; 8:45 am]