Right to Counsel

The United States has long-been a beacon of hope for individuals around the world seeking protection and refuge. Our immigration policies must continue to protect those who need it. Learn more about how America can continue to provide humanitarian protection to those in times of crisis.

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All Right to Counsel Content

August 8, 2011
In this letter, the Council and AILA urged ICE to address reports of restrictions on access to counsel in a range of interview settings. These restrictions, documented in a nation-wide survey of immigration attorneys, included complete bars to attorney presence during ICE interviews and limits on participation when attorneys are permitted to be present. Attorneys also reported that ICE officers often were antagonistic toward attorneys.
June 14, 2011
The Council and AILA provided recommendations for changes to the USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) to better safeguard the attorney's role in USCIS interviews. These recommendations were in response to a request from USCIS to present specific recommendations for changes to USCIS guidance on access to counsel.
May 12, 2011

Findings released last week by the New York Immigration Representation Study reveal what immigration advocates long have said: whether a person has legal representation is a critical factor in...

May 10, 2011
In this May 11, 2011 letter, the Council and AILA urged CBP to address restrictions on access to counsel. These restrictions - documented in a nation-wide survey of immigration attorneys - included limitations on attorneys’ access to their clients in secondary and deferred inspection. In instances where attorneys were able to accompany their clients, CBP officers limited the scope of representation. Attorneys also reported that CBP officers prevented attorneys from providing relevant documentation and sometimes adopted an adversarial approach.
The American Immigration Council, with co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel.
The American Immigration Council, with co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel.
December 1, 2003
Children who travel unaccompanied to the United States experience not only the trauma of family separation and the frequently predatory behavior of the traffickers who bring them, but also harsh...

The Council filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel before United States Citizenship and...

The Council filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel before Immigration and Customs Enforement...

In this March 24, 2011 letter, the Council and AILA urged USCIS to address reports of widespread and recurrent restrictions on access to counsel. These restrictions, documented in a nation-wide survey (http://www.aila.org/infonet/final-results-attorney-representation-before-dhs) of immigration attorneys, included limitations on attorneys’ ability to communicate with their clients, restrictions on attorney seating during USCIS interviews, and limitations on attorneys’ ability to submit documents to the interviewing officer.

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