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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 26, 2016.
Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016
This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint or provide counsel at government expense to aliens in removal proceedings.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall provide an alien in removal proceedings with all relevant documents in its possession, unless the alien has knowingly waived the right to such documents. In the absence of a waiver a removal proceeding may not proceed until the alien has received, and had time to review, the documents.
DOJ may appoint or provide counsel to aliens in any INA proceeding.
DHS shall ensure that aliens have access to counsel inside all immigration detention and border facilities.
DOJ shall appoint counsel, at government expense if necessary, for an unaccompanied alien child or a particularly vulnerable individual. If DOJ has consolidated any such alien's case with that of any other alien, and that other alien does not have counsel, then the appointed counsel shall be appointed to represent the other alien as well.
DHS shall: (1) facilitate access to counsel for all aliens detained in facilities under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and (2) establish procedures to ensure that legal orientation programs are available for all detained aliens, including aliens held in CBP facilities.
DOJ shall develop and administer a two-year pilot program at not fewer than two immigration courts to grant access to legal information to non-detained aliens with pending asylum claims.
DHS shall establish a pilot program to increase the court appearance rates of unaccompanied alien children and particularly vulnerable individuals by contracting with nongovernmental, community-based organizations to provide such aliens with case management services. The pilot program shall not be used to monitor individuals designated as unaccompanied alien children under the Homeland Security Act.
If DOJ fails to appoint counsel for an unaccompanied alien child or vulnerable person: (1) no limitation pertaining to the filing of any motion to reopen the removal proceeding shall apply, and (2) the filing of such a motion shall stay the removal of the alien.