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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 30, 2014

Title 45Subtitle BChapter XVI → Part 1626


Title 45: Public Welfare


PART 1626—RESTRICTIONS ON LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO ALIENS


Contents
§1626.1   Purpose.
§1626.2   Definitions.
§1626.3   Prohibition.
§1626.4   Aliens eligible for assistance under anti-abuse laws.
§1626.5   Aliens eligible for assistance based on immigration status.
§1626.6   Verification of citizenship.
§1626.7   Verification of eligible alien status.
§1626.8   Emergencies.
§1626.9   Change in circumstances.
§1626.10   Special eligibility questions.
§1626.11   H-2 agricultural and forestry workers.
§1626.12   Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

Source: 79 FR 21871, Apr. 18, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

§1626.1   Purpose.

This part is designed to ensure that recipients provide legal assistance only to citizens of the United States and eligible aliens. It is also designed to assist recipients in determining the eligibility and immigration status of persons who seek legal assistance.

§1626.2   Definitions.

(a) Anti-abuse statutes means the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1941, as amended, and the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, Public Law 109-162, 119 Stat. 2960 (collectively referred to as “VAWA”); Section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U); and the incorporation of these statutory provisions in section 502(a)(2)(C) of LSC's FY 1998 appropriation, Public Law 105-119, Title V, 111 Stat. 2440, 2510 as incorporated by reference thereafter; the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386, 114 Stat. 1464 (“TVPA”), as amended; and Section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T).

(b) Battered or subjected to extreme cruelty includes, but is not limited to, being the victim of any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), or forced prostitution may be considered acts of violence. Other abusive actions may also be acts of violence under certain circumstances, including acts that, in and of themselves, may not initially appear violent but that are a part of an overall pattern of violence.

(c) Certification means the certification prescribed in 22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(E).

(d) Citizen means a person described or defined as a citizen or national of the United States in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22) and Title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Chapter 1 (8 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) (citizens by birth) and Chapter 2 (8 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.) (citizens by naturalization) or antecedent citizen statutes.

(e) Eligible alien means a person who is not a citizen but who meets the requirements of §1626.4 or §1626.5.

(f) Ineligible alien means a person who is not a citizen and who does not meet the requirements of §1626.4 or §1626.5.

(g) On behalf of an ineligible alien means to render legal assistance to an eligible client that benefits an ineligible alien and does not affect a specific legal right or interest of the eligible client.

(h)(1) Qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA means:

(i) A person who has been granted relief under that section;

(ii) A person who has applied for relief under that section and who the recipient determines has evidentiary support for such application; or

(iii) A person who has not filed for relief under that section, but who the recipient determines has evidentiary support for filing for such relief.

(2) A person who qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA includes any person who may apply for primary U visa relief under subsection (i) of section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)(i)) or for derivative U visa relief for family members under subsection (ii) of section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)(ii)). Recipients may provide assistance for any person who qualifies for derivative U visa relief regardless of whether such a person has been subjected to abuse.

(i) Rejected refers to an application for adjustment of status that has been denied by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is not subject to further administrative appeal.

(j) Victim of severe forms of trafficking means any person described at 22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(C).

(k) Victim of sexual assault or trafficking means:

(1) A victim of sexual assault subjected to any conduct included in the definition of sexual assault in VAWA, 42 U.S.C. 13925(a)(29); or

(2) A victim of trafficking subjected to any conduct included in the definition of “trafficking” under law, including, but not limited to, local, state, and federal law, and T visa holders regardless of certification from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

(l) United States, for purposes of this part, has the same meaning given that term in section 101(a)(38) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(38)).

[79 FR 30052, May 27, 2014]

§1626.3   Prohibition.

Recipients may not provide legal assistance for or on behalf of an ineligible alien. For purposes of this part, legal assistance does not include normal intake and referral services.

§1626.4   Aliens eligible for assistance under anti-abuse laws.

(a) Subject to all other eligibility requirements and restrictions of the LSC Act and regulations and other applicable law:

(1) A recipient may provide related legal assistance to an alien who is within one of the following categories:

(i) An alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, or is a victim of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)); or

(ii) An alien whose child, without the active participation of the alien, has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, or has been a victim of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)).

(2)(i) A recipient may provide legal assistance, including but not limited to related legal assistance, to:

(A) An alien who is a victim of severe forms of trafficking of persons in the United States; or

(B) An alien classified as a non-immigrant under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii), regarding others related to the victim).

(ii) For purposes of this part, aliens described in paragraphs (a)(2)(i)(A) and (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section include individuals seeking certification as victims of severe forms of trafficking and certain family members applying for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii)).

(b) (1) Related legal assistance means legal assistance directly related:

(i) To the prevention of, or obtaining relief from, the battery, cruelty, sexual assault, or trafficking;

(ii) To the prevention of, or obtaining relief from, crimes listed in section 101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii)); or

(iii) To an application for relief:

(A) Under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)); or

(B) Under section 101(a)(15)(T) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(T)).

(2) Such assistance includes representation in matters that will assist a person eligible for assistance under this part to escape from the abusive situation, ameliorate the current effects of the abuse, or protect against future abuse, so long as the recipient can show the necessary connection of the representation to the abuse. Such representation may include immigration law matters and domestic or poverty law matters (such as obtaining civil protective orders, divorce, paternity, child custody, child and spousal support, housing, public benefits, employment, abuse and neglect, juvenile proceedings and contempt actions).

(c) Relationship to the United States. An alien must satisfy both paragraph (c)(1) and either paragraph (c)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section to be eligible for legal assistance under this part.

(1) Relation of activity to the United States. An alien is eligible under this section if the activity giving rise to eligibility violated a law of the United States, regardless of where the activity occurred, or occurred in the United States (including in Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States.

(2) Relationship of alien to the United States. (i) An alien defined in §1626.2(b), (h), or (k)(1) need not be present in the United States to be eligible for assistance under this section.

(ii) An alien defined in §1626.2(j) or (k)(2) must be present in the United States to be eligible for assistance under this section.

(d) Evidentiary support—(1) Intake and subsequent evaluation. A recipient may determine that an alien is qualified for assistance under this section if there is evidentiary support that the alien falls into any of the eligibility categories or if the recipient determines there will likely be evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation. If the recipient determines that an alien is eligible because there will likely be evidentiary support, the recipient must obtain evidence of support as soon as possible and may not delay in order to provide continued assistance.

(2) Documentary evidence. Evidentiary support may include, but is not limited to, affidavits or unsworn written statements made by the alien; written summaries of statements or interviews of the alien taken by others, including the recipient; reports and affidavits from police, judges, and other court officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, other social service agency personnel; orders of protection or other legal evidence of steps taken to end abuse; evidence that a person sought safe haven in a shelter or similar refuge; photographs; documents; or other evidence of a series of acts that establish a pattern of qualifying abuse.

(3) Victims of severe forms of trafficking. Victims of severe forms of trafficking may present any of the forms of evidence listed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section or any of the following:

(i) A certification letter issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

(ii) Verification that the alien has been certified by calling the HHS trafficking verification line, (202) 401-5510 or (866) 401-5510.

(iii) An interim eligibility letter issued by HHS, if the alien was subjected to severe forms of trafficking while under the age of 18.

(iv) An eligibility letter issued by HHS, if the alien was subjected to severe forms of trafficking while under the age of 18.

(e) Recordkeeping. Recipients are not required by §1626.12 to maintain records regarding the immigration status of clients represented pursuant to this section. If a recipient relies on an immigration document for the eligibility determination, the recipient shall document that the client presented an immigration document by making a note in the client's file stating that a staff member has seen the document, the type of document, the client's alien registration number (“A number”), the date of the document, and the date of the review, and containing the signature of the staff member that reviewed the document.

(f) Changes in basis for eligibility. If, during the course of representing an alien eligible pursuant to §1626.4(a)(1), a recipient determines that the alien is also eligible under §1626.4(a)(2) or §1626.5, the recipient should treat the alien as eligible under that section and may provide all the assistance available pursuant to that section.

§1626.5   Aliens eligible for assistance based on immigration status.

Subject to all other eligibility requirements and restrictions of the LSC Act and regulations and other applicable law, a recipient may provide legal assistance to an alien who is present in the United States and who is within one of the following categories:

(a) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence as an immigrant as defined by section 101(a)(20) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20));

(b) An alien who is either married to a United States citizen or is a parent or an unmarried child under the age of 21 of such a citizen and who has filed an application for adjustment of status to permanent resident under the INA, and such application has not been rejected;

(c) An alien who is lawfully present in the United States pursuant to an admission under section 207 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1157) (relating to refugee admissions) or who has been granted asylum by the Attorney General or the Secretary of DHS under section 208 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158);

(d) An alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of being granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(7), as in effect on March 31, 1980) before April 1, 1980, because of persecution or fear of persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion or because of being uprooted by catastrophic natural calamity;

(e) An alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of the Attorney General's withholding of deportation or exclusion under section 243(h) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(h), as in effect on April 16, 1996) or withholding of removal pursuant to section 241(b)(3) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)); or

(f) An alien who meets the requirements of §1626.10 or §1626.11.

§1626.6   Verification of citizenship.

(a) A recipient shall require all applicants for legal assistance who claim to be citizens to attest in writing in a standard form provided by the Corporation that they are citizens, unless the only service provided for a citizen is brief advice and consultation by telephone, or by other non-in-person means, which does not include continuous representation.

(b) When a recipient has reason to doubt that an applicant is a citizen, the recipient shall require verification of citizenship. A recipient shall not consider factors such as a person's accent, limited English-speaking ability, appearance, race, or national origin as a reason to doubt that the person is a citizen.

(1) If verification is required, a recipient may accept originals, certified copies, or photocopies that appear to be complete, correct, and authentic of any of the following documents as evidence of citizenship:

(i) United States passport;

(ii) Birth certificate;

(iii) Naturalization certificate;

(iv) United States Citizenship Identification Card (INS Form 1-197 or I-197); or

(v) Baptismal certificate showing place of birth within the United States and date of baptism within two months after birth.

(2) A recipient may also accept any other authoritative document, such as a document issued by DHS, by a court, or by another governmental agency, that provides evidence of citizenship.

(3) If a person is unable to produce any of the above documents, the person may submit a notarized statement signed by a third party, who shall not be an employee of the recipient and who can produce proof of that party's own United States citizenship, that the person seeking legal assistance is a United States citizen.

§1626.7   Verification of eligible alien status.

(a) An alien seeking representation shall submit appropriate documents to verify eligibility, unless the only service provided for an eligible alien is brief advice and consultation by telephone, or by other non-in-person means, which does not include continuous representation of a client.

(1) As proof of eligibility, a recipient may accept originals, certified copies, or photocopies that appear to be complete, correct, and authentic, of any documents establishing eligibility. LSC will publish a list of examples of such documents from time to time in the form of a program letter or equivalent.

(2) A recipient may also accept any other authoritative document issued by DHS, by a court, or by another governmental agency, that provides evidence of alien status.

(b) A recipient shall upon request furnish each person seeking legal assistance with a current list of documents establishing eligibility under this part as is published by LSC.

§1626.8   Emergencies.

In an emergency, legal services may be provided prior to compliance with §§1626.4, 1626.6, and 1626.7 if:

(a) An applicant cannot feasibly come to the recipient's office or otherwise transmit written documentation to the recipient before commencement of the representation required by the emergency, and the applicant provides oral information to establish eligibility which the recipient records, and the applicant submits the necessary documentation as soon as possible; or

(b) An applicant is able to come to the recipient's office but cannot produce the required documentation before commencement of the representation, and the applicant signs a statement of eligibility and submits the necessary documentation as soon as possible; and

(c) The recipient informs clients accepted under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section that only limited emergency legal assistance may be provided without satisfactory documentation and that, if the client fails to produce timely and satisfactory written documentation, the recipient will be required to discontinue representation consistent with the recipient's professional responsibilities.

§1626.9   Change in circumstances.

If, to the knowledge of the recipient, a client who was an eligible alien becomes ineligible through a change in circumstances, continued representation is prohibited by this part and a recipient must discontinue representation consistent with applicable rules of professional responsibility.

§1626.10   Special eligibility questions.

(a)(1) This part is not applicable to recipients providing services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

(2) All citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands residing in the United States are eligible to receive legal assistance provided that they are otherwise eligible under the Act.

(b) All Canadian-born American Indians at least 50% Indian by blood are eligible to receive legal assistance provided they are otherwise eligible under the Act.

(c) Members of the Texas Band of Kickapoo are eligible to receive legal assistance provided they are otherwise eligible under the Act.

(d) An alien who qualified as a special agricultural worker and whose status is adjusted to that of temporary resident alien under the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) is considered a permanent resident alien for all purposes except immigration under the provisions of section 302 of 100 Stat. 3422, 8 U.S.C. 1160(g). Since the status of these aliens is that of permanent resident alien under section 101(a)(20) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)), these workers may be provided legal assistance. These workers are ineligible for legal assistance in order to obtain the adjustment of status of temporary resident under IRCA, but are eligible for legal assistance after the application for adjustment of status to that of temporary resident has been filed, and the application has not been rejected.

(e) A recipient may provide legal assistance to indigent foreign nationals who seek assistance pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the Federal implementing statute, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. 11607(b), provided that they are otherwise financially eligible.

§1626.11   H-2 agricultural and forestry workers.

(a) Nonimmigrant agricultural workers admitted to, or permitted to remain in, the United States under the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(h)(ii)(a) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(h)(ii)(a)), commonly called H-2A agricultural workers, may be provided legal assistance regarding the matters specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Nonimmigrant forestry workers admitted to, or permitted to remain in, the United States under the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(h)(ii)(b) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(h)(ii)(b)), commonly called H-2B forestry workers, may be provided legal assistance regarding the matters specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) The following matters which arise under the provisions of the worker's specific employment contract may be the subject of legal assistance by an LSC-funded program:

(1) Wages;

(2) Housing;

(3) Transportation; and

(4) Other employment rights as provided in the worker's specific contract under which the nonimmigrant worker was admitted.

§1626.12   Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping.

Each recipient shall adopt written policies and procedures to guide its staff in complying with this part and shall maintain records sufficient to document the recipient's compliance with this part.

[79 FR 21871, Apr. 18, 2014]



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