Title: Access to Counsel Act of 2021
Vote to pass a bill that provides various protections for covered individuals subject to secondary or deferred inspections when seeking admission into the United States.
Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that a covered individual has the meaningful opportunity to consult, either in person or via telephone, with counsel and an interested party within an hour of the secondary inspection process taking place (Sec. 2).
Authorizes a covered individual’s counsel or interested party to advocate on behalf of the covered individual and provide evidence, information, and documentation in support of the covered individual to the examining immigration officer (Sec. 2).
Defines a “covered individual” as the following, including, but not limited to (Sec. 2):
A U.S. National;
A lawful permanent resident;
Undocumented individuals in possession of an unexpired visa;
A refugee; or
Defines “counsel” as a licensed attorney or an individual accredited by the Attorney General to represent a covered individual in immigration matters (Sec. 2).
Defines “interested party” as a relative of the covered individual, a petitioner or sponsor of the covered individual, or an individual, organization, or entity with a connection to the covered individual (Sec. 2).
Prohibits a lawful permanent residence from waiving their lawful permanent residence status until first being provided the opportunity to seek advice from counsel, unless the covered individual voluntarily and knowingly waives, in writing, their opportunity to seek advice from counsel (Sec. 2).