Press Release ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
July 22, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on House passage of the Access to Counsel Act:

“Today, the House passed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, to ensure that the principle of defendants’ access to counsel is protected in immigration proceedings. Under this Administration’s draconian policies, many suspected of being in our country without proper documentation have been forced to attend proceedings before immigration judges without legal representation. Many do not speak the language of those proceedings; others are unaccompanied minors as young as infants.

“Under our Bill of Rights, access to legal counsel is recognized as a fundamental right, and the Access to Counsel Act will ensure that this right is protected, at no cost to taxpayers, for those seeking to prove they have a valid reason, through citizenship or legal claims of asylum, to remain in our country. I thank Rep. Jayapal as well as Chairman Nadler of the Judiciary Committee and Chairman Thompson of the Homeland Security Committee for their hard work on this legislation, which is both timely and necessary.”