Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3861
Illinois General Assembly

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Full Text of SB3861  101st General Assembly




State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced 2/14/2020, by Sen. Celina Villanueva


New Act

    Creates the Right to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Act. Establishes the Task Force on Counsel in Immigration Proceedings. Provides for members, compensation, and support staff. Provides that the Task Force shall investigate the implementation of universal representation for covered individuals in immigration removal proceedings. Provides that the Task Force shall submit a report of its findings in the investigation and its recommendations for how to fully provide legal representation for covered individuals facing immigration proceedings no later than July 1, 2021. Repeals the Act July 1, 2022. Effective immediately.

LRB101 20709 LNS 70381 b





SB3861LRB101 20709 LNS 70381 b

1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Right
5to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Act.
6    Section 5. Purpose; findings.
7    (a) The State is committed to fair and equal treatment of
8all individuals, and, in particular, of individuals at risk of
9removal and separation from their families through the federal
10immigration detention and deportation system.
11    (b) While an individual in removal proceedings has the
12right to legal representation, the representation is at the
13individual's own expense and may be beyond the financial
14capacity of low-income households.
15    (c) Nearly two-thirds of all individuals facing
16immigration removal proceedings throughout the United States
17lack legal representation. Among the individuals in
18immigration detention, only one in 6 individuals were
19represented by counsel. Among the individuals facing removal
20proceedings in this State, less than one in 3 individuals,
21generally, and less than one in 8 individuals in detention were
22represented by counsel.
23    (d) Legal representation is essential to effective



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1identification and presentation of avenues for release from
2detention and relief from removal. Individuals in immigration
3detention are 4 times more likely to win release if represented
4by legal counsel than individuals without representation by
5legal counsel. In removal proceedings, detained individuals
6are 11 times more likely to succeed in claims for relief if
7represented by legal counsel than individuals without
8representation by legal counsel.
9    (e) Legal representation in removal proceedings has
10improved the efficiency of the proceedings and the
11administration of justice as individuals are better able to
12present their defenses and claims for relief.
13    (f) It is the public policy of this State that all covered
14individuals should have the right to ongoing legal
15representation in covered proceedings. This right to counsel
16should include provisions of funds sufficient to ensure that
17legal service providers are funded to:
18        (1) engage support staff, interpretation staff, and
19    investigative staff;
20        (2) contract as reasonably necessary with independent
21    experts, including country conditions experts and forensic
22    medical experts; and
23        (3) contract as reasonably necessary with social
24    service providers providing supportive and rehabilitative
25    services to covered individuals during the course of their
26    removal proceedings.



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1    (g) This State should establish a program and a dedicated
2fund to provide the legal services described in subsection (f).
3    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
4    "Covered individual" means any individual subject to
5removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. 1225, 1228, and 1229a or a
6final order of removal under 8 CFR 1241.1, including any
7related covered proceeding, regardless of age, who is: (i) a
8domiciliary of this State; or (ii) an individual who is not a
9domiciliary of this State if removal proceedings are conducted
10against the individual in this State.
11    "Covered proceeding" means any proceeding in which a
12covered individual is a party and is seeking an avenue of
13relief from removal from the United States or is challenging
14his or her arrest or detention under the Immigration and
15Nationality Act and its implementing regulations. "Covered
16proceeding" includes:
17        (1) a proceeding or hearing in an immigration court and
18    any related application to United States Citizenship and
19    Immigration Services connected to the proceeding or
20    hearing;
21        (2) an immigration proceeding conducted by telephone
22    or video teleconference;
23        (3) a proceeding in a State court for purposes of
24    obtaining a special findings order;
25        (4) a proceeding in a State court for purposes of



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1    vacating a conviction or modifying a sentence in which the
2    conviction or sentence is relevant to the immigration
3    proceedings at issue;
4        (5) a credible fear interview or reasonable fear
5    interview;
6        (6) a habeas corpus petition to a federal district
7    court challenging detention under the Immigration and
8    Nationality Act;
9        (7) a motion to reopen or reconsider under 8 U.S.C.
10    1229a;
11        (8) a petition for review under 8 U.S.C. 1252;
12        (9) a remand to a federal district court from the
13    United States Court of Appeals for fact-finding purposes;
14    and
15        (10) any appeal related to any of the foregoing to the
16    Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States Court of
17    Appeals, or the United States Supreme Court.
18    "Domicile" means a true, fixed, and permanent legal home of
19an individual or the place to which the individual intends to
20return even though the individual may reside elsewhere.
21    "Domiciliary" means an individual who has established a
22domicile with respect to a particular jurisdiction.
23    "Immigration court" means a tribunal of the Executive
24Office for Immigration Review, or a successor entity, tasked
25with deciding the inadmissibility or deportability of a
26noncitizen of the United States that is presided over by an



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1immigration judge as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(4).
2    "Legal services" means individual legal assistance in a
3single consultation, or ongoing legal representation, provided
4by a legal services provider to a covered individual, and all
5legal advice, advocacy, and assistance associated with the
7    "Legal services provider" means an individual,
8organization, or association that has the authority to provide
9legal services.
10    Section 15. Task Force on Counsel in Immigration
12    (a) The Task Force on Counsel in Immigration Proceedings is
14    (b) The Task Force shall consist of 7 members appointed by
15the Governor, in consultation with the President of the Senate,
16the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney
17General, and the Secretary of Human Services.
18    (c) Members of the Task Force shall serve without
20    (d) The Department of Human Services shall provide
21administrative and other support to the Task Force.
22    (e) The Task Force shall investigate the implementation of
23universal representation for covered individuals in
24immigration removal proceedings as described in subsection (f)
25of Section 5. The Task Force investigation shall include, but



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1is not limited to, the following matters:
2        (1) the estimated number of covered individuals facing
3    a covered proceeding;
4        (2) the current infrastructure for providing
5    independent, competent, and zealous legal representation
6    in a covered proceeding;
7        (3) the additional resources, including salaries and
8    benefits for attorneys and support staff, training,
9    supervision, and material resources that would need to be
10    added to the existing infrastructure described in
11    paragraph (2) in order to provide independent, competent,
12    and zealous legal representation for the number of covered
13    individuals described in paragraph (1), including
14    mechanisms for subcontracted relationships with
15    independent experts and social service providers;
16        (4) the estimated annual cost of the additional
17    resources described in paragraph (3);
18        (5) funding sources, public and private, that are or
19    would be available to pay for the additional resources
20    described in paragraph (3); and
21        (6) the estimated annual cost of bond payment support
22    needed for covered individuals facing a covered
23    proceeding, and the feasibility of a State-sponsored bond
24    fund for those individuals.
25    (f) In order for the Governor and General Assembly to
26evaluate different scopes of legal representation in



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1immigration court proceedings, the Task Force investigation
2described in subsection (e) shall provide additional findings
3in the following categories:
4        (1) State domiciliary versus non-State domiciliary
5    covered individuals, and, among the State domiciliary
6    covered individuals, the regions of residence within the
7    State;
8        (2) household income above and below 250% of the
9    federal poverty line;
10        (3) type of proceedings in which the covered
11    individuals need legal representation; and
12        (4) current percentages of covered individuals in
13    covered proceedings with and without legal representation.
14    (g) The Task Force shall submit a report of its findings in
15the investigation described in subsection (e) and its
16recommendations for how to fully provide legal representation
17for covered individuals facing covered proceedings no later
18than July 1, 2021.
19    Section 20. Repeal. This Act is repealed on July 1, 2022.
20    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
21becoming law.