A list of my 300 op-eds with links is available at https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com/

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is soliciting contracts to implement a Legal Access at the Border (LAB) program. The solicitation says that the objective of the program is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of EOIR Immigration Court proceedings by providing legal services to immigrants who are:

(1) In the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP);

(2) In, or may be placed in, removal proceedings;

(3) Seeking entry into the United States from locations along the Southwest Border; and

(4) Are in, or may be enrolled in, the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which commonly is known as the “Remain in Mexico” program.

The legal services will include general information and presentations (legal orientation) about

options and procedures related to remaining in the United States during the pendency of removal proceedings; and about immigration court practices and procedures, relief from deportation, and other relevant resources.

Paragraph 9 in an attached statement of work, which is a legally binding document, prohibits contractors from providing legal advice or representation:

“The Contractor shall also verbally notify those receiving Individual Orientations that they are not the unrepresented noncitizen’s legal representatives … Presenters may respond to unrepresented noncitizens’ questions that are general in nature. Presenters may only respond to questions specific to an immigration case … by providing general information or a referral to a legal representative. Individual Orientations and responses to any questions must be general in nature, must not constitute legal advice.”

Immigrants in CBP custody who are facing removal proceedings before an immigration judge have a much greater need for assistance in preparing their cases and representation at their hearings than they do for an orientation program.

Such representation is very important, particularly for asylum seekers: During fiscal 2021, 34 percent of the applications from migrants with representation were granted and only 18 percent of the applications from unrepresented migrants were granted.

Paying for representation

Read more at https://thehill.com/opinion/immigrat...ic-orientation

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him at https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com