Legal Question in Immigration Law in Michigan

entitled to a lawyer?

my mother(french citizen) was traveling to visit her daughter (us citizen). Officers began questioning her and she asked for a lawyer. I thought that no matter what nationality you are and if you are on US soils, aren't you aloud to have a lawyer?

Asked on 12/22/06, 12:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Brian Casterline Law Office of Brian C. Casterline

Re: entitled to a lawyer?

Yes and no. The 14th Amendment to the US Consitituition gurantess the right to due process of law which encompasses the right to counsel. The tricky part of the questions arises as to what is the soil of the United States.

Without doubt the feet of the your mother was on United states soil as a matter objective reality. But in the eyes of the law she ahs not yet been admitted to the United States unitl she receives a Record of Admission, known more commmonlay by its form number, an I-94. This is a small white card, or green if entrance is made under the visa waiver program.

A standard visa holder will be given a white I-94 and is afforded greater rights under the law. A visitor who receives a green I-94 has fewer rights.

My advice to clinets is if any problems are expected upon entry to arrange to have your attorney meet you at the gate and usually matters can be solved or worked through. I will admit that as a former officer of the INS/BCIS I have more familiarity with the indivual officers and can oftentimes resolve minor misunderstandings.

Should have any more questions please contact me at my office via email

Brian C. Casterline, 248.865.4700 Ext.366

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Answered on 12/24/06, 10:09 am

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