11th Circ. Says No Counsel Needed Before Immigration Judge

By Rae Ann Varona (May 12, 2022, 7:22 PM EDT) — A split Eleventh Circuit panel on Wednesday denied a Haitian asylum seeker’s request to review a removal order, saying the man was not entitled to counsel when he appeared before the immigration judge who reviewed his asylum request.

U.S. Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, writing for the 2-1 majority, said that while regulations concerning reasonable-fear screenings allow foreign citizens like Emmanuel Priva to be represented by counsel, representation was only explicitly available for the first step of the screening process during interviews with asylum officers, but not before an immigration judge.

“The regulations are silent on whether an alien may have counsel…