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H.R. 1573: Access to Counsel Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Apr 16, 2021 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 8

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1573

[Report No. 117–21]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 3, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

April 16, 2021

Additional sponsors: Ms. Chu, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Deutch, Mr. García of Illinois, Ms. Garcia of Texas, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Norton, Mr. Rush, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Nadler, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Raskin, Ms. Scanlon, Mr. Swalwell, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Ms. Barragán, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Carson, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Correa, Ms. DeGette, Ms. Jacobs of California, Mr. Jones, Ms. Leger Fernandez, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Newman, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mrs. Torres of California, Mr. Torres of New York, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Casten, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mr. Lieu, Mr. Neguse, and Mr. Quigley


April 16, 2021

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on March 3, 2021

A BILL

To clarify the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Access to Counsel Act of 2021.

2.

Access to counsel and other assistance at ports of entry and during deferred inspection

(a)

Access to counsel and other assistance during inspection

Section 235 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1225) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(e)

Access to counsel and other assistance during inspection at ports of entry and during deferred inspection

(1)

In general

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that a covered individual has a meaningful opportunity to consult with counsel and an interested party during the inspection process.

(2)

Scope of assistance

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall—

(A)

provide the covered individual a meaningful opportunity to consult (including consultation via telephone) with counsel and an interested party not later than one hour after the secondary inspection process commences and as necessary throughout the remainder of the inspection process, including, as applicable, during deferred inspection;

(B)

allow counsel and an interested party to advocate on behalf of the covered individual, including by providing to the examining immigration officer information, documentation, and other evidence in support of the covered individual; and

(C)

to the greatest extent practicable, accommodate a request by the covered individual for counsel or an interested party to appear in-person at the secondary or deferred inspection site.

(3)

Special rule for lawful permanent residents

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary of Homeland Security may not accept a Form I-407 Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (or a successor form) from a lawful permanent resident subject to secondary or deferred inspection without first providing such lawful permanent resident a meaningful opportunity to seek advice from counsel.

(B)

Exception

The Secretary of Homeland Security may accept Form I-407 Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (or a successor form) from a lawful permanent resident subject to secondary or deferred inspection if such lawful permanent resident knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives, in writing, the opportunity to seek advice from counsel.

(4)

Definitions

In this section:

(A)

Counsel

The term counsel means—

(i)

an attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or a possession of the United States and is not under an order suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting the attorney in the practice of law; or

(ii)

an individual accredited by the Attorney General, acting as a representative of an organization recognized by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, to represent a covered individual in immigration matters.

(B)

Covered individual

The term covered individual means an individual subject to secondary or deferred inspection who is—

(i)

a national of the United States;

(ii)

an immigrant, lawfully admitted for permanent residence, who is returning from a temporary visit abroad;

(iii)

an alien seeking admission as an immigrant in possession of a valid unexpired immigrant visa;

(iv)

an alien seeking admission as a nonimmigrant in possession of a valid unexpired nonimmigrant visa;

(v)

a refugee;

(vi)

a returning asylee; or

(vii)

an alien who has been approved for parole under section 212(d)(5)(A), including an alien who is returning to the United States in possession of a valid advance parole document.

(C)

Interested party

The term interested party means—

(i)

a relative of the covered individual;

(ii)

in the case of a covered individual to whom an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa has been issued, the petitioner or sponsor thereof (including an agent of such petitioner or sponsor); or

(iii)

a person, organization, or entity in the United States with a bona fide connection to the covered individual.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c)

Savings provision

Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, may be construed to limit a right to counsel or any right to appointed counsel under—

(1)

section 240(b)(4)(A) (8 U.S.C. 1229a(b)(4)(A));

(2)

section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1362); or

(3)

any other provision of law, including any final court order securing such rights,

as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act.

Amend the title so as to read: A bill to clarify the rights of certain persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any facility overseen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection..

April 16, 2021

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed