Q: Am I eligible for a lawyer if threatened to be sent back after entering US border customs?
I have been threatened before (although I did not break any laws and stayed within my ESTA rules, they did let me stay in the end) and I would like to know if I can ask for a lawyer if I get asked to leave the US in the future.
No, you are not entitled to representation at the airport even at your own expense. Sometimes CBP will entertain a phone call from an attorney, but it is entirely at CBP's pleasure.
Usually when CBP is threatening to deny entry to someone coming in on the Visa Waiver Program (note: ESTA is a computer system for getting pre-clearance for the Visa Waiver Program, but you don't enter on ESTA, you enter on the Visa Waiver Program), it is because the person is coming in too often and staying too long on each visit. Not that they are overstaying technically, but they are coming close to maxing out the 90 days a little too frequently. Eventually CBP will decide that you are coming so often and staying so long that they think you are effectively residing in the US. Once they decide you're basically living here, they will deny you entry and may possibly put you through an expedited removal. If CBP has been telling you they are not going to keep letting you in on VWP, then I recommend you apply for a B visitor's visa at the consulate.
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