Council, Partners, Renew Advocacy For Meaningful Access to Counsel in Detention


November 21, 2023


November 21, 2023

The American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and nearly 90 legal service provider organizations sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Patrick Lechleitner highlighting the obstacles to attorney access that exist in immigration detention facilities nationwide and making recommendations for improvements.

The letter describes barriers people in detention face in accessing legal representation and calls for an end to the restrictions placed on the most basic modes of communication that detained people need to connect with their lawyers and the rest of the outside world. It also provides recommendations to remove these obstacles and ensure adequate access to counsel and a meaningful opportunity for people to represent themselves. It emphasizes that ICE must implement interim measures to guarantee access to counsel at smaller facilities as it expands the Virtual Visitation Program at larger ones. ICE must likewise implement rigorous oversight of all access to counsel requirements.

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