Right to Representation by Counsel in the Board of Immigration Appeals

The right to be represented by counsel is one of the mostimportant elements of due process of law.

It is mentioned twice in the immigration statute,1 and this mandate is amplified by the regulations, which extend the right orepresentation to every case pending before the Service where an examination is required by the regulations, andcounsel in such cases is permitted to examine and cross-examine witnesses, to introduce evidence, to make objections, and to submit briefs.

The importance of the right of representation by counsel has been underscored by the Supreme Court in recent landmark decisions.

The regulations require that the immigration judge fully and fairly advise the alien, both in exclusion and deportation proceedings, of his right to be represented by counsel.

However, the statute does not require that counsel be present in every case and the alien is entitled only to the opportunity to obtain counsel. The courts will scrutinize
the record carefully to make certain that fundamental fairness was accorded and that justice was done. Of course,advised by counsel.

And a similar right of representation will be accordedto a person who appears voluntarily and insists upon having his counsel present. However, counsel’s function in such situations is advisory.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez