Everyone, regardless of legal status or ability to pay, should have access to legal counsel if they’re detained by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Ensuring access to both legal counsel and interested parties is one means of helping ensure that people in CBP custody have the best chance to defend their own interests and make their cases to the U.S. government.
There’s nothing keeping people in CBP custody from retaining legal counsel, or preventing people with family members in CBP custody from retaining legal representation for their loved ones. This bill is unnecessary at best, and at worst adds a bureaucratic burden to the Dept. of Homeland Security’s operations at a time when it’s already struggling to address large numbers of migrants at the southern border and operational challenges during a pandemic.