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Convention Against Torture

Washington D.C. Lawyer for Foreign Nationals Afraid of Torture

As a foreign national fearful of persecution, you have a number of different kinds of relief available to you. One of these types of relief is provided under Convention Against Torture. Torture is only found where there you face a real possibility of cruel punishment that would cause you severe suffering or pain. If you are concerned about obtaining relief under the Convention Against Torture, you should talk to our experienced Washington D.C. asylum attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. We can make sure all appropriate steps are taken to secure the greatest relief available to you based on your situation.

Convention Against Torture

Unlike other forms of relief that may be available to you in Washington D.C., such as asylum or withholding of removal, eligibility is expansive under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). You can seek this relief even if you are an aggravated felon, so long as you fear being tortured in your home country. Unlike other legal options, the torture does not need to be based on your personal identity, such as your race, nationality, religion, social group, or political opinion. Rather, there are two kinds of protections that can be sought, and both are based on your legitimate fear of torture.

Withholding of removal is one type of protection you can receive under CAT. When you obtain this kind of protection, you will not be sent back to your home country. In order to terminate your status when you have this protection, the Department of Homeland Security CAT would need to demonstrate that it’s not likely you’ll be tortured in your home country. You can’t get this relief under CAT if you have committed certain crimes or you’re a terrorist.

The other type of protection is deferral of removal. This kind of relief is temporary. Protection is terminated if your return to your home country would not likely to result in torture. Unlike with the other kind of relief, if you’re a threat to the community, you can be detained by the Department of Homeland Security.

Both types of relief provide restricted benefits. While you can’t be removed to your home country, you could be removed to a different country where you wouldn’t be tortured. Unlike relief under other laws, our attorneys will not be able to adjust your status to legal permanent status. You can be authorized to work when you’ve been granted withholding of removal or you can get a work permit when you’ve been granted deferral of removal and you’re released from custody.

What Counts as Torture?

Under the CAT, torture is defined as: (1) any act by which serious suffering or pain, (2) is intentionally inflicted, (3) by a public official or person acting in that capacity, (4) as punishment, in order to get information or a confession, in order to coerce and intimidate, or because of discrimination. Torture is considered more severe than simply degrading treatment and it doesn’t include indefinite detention.

Under CAT, our lawyers will need to establish before an Immigration Judge that it is more likely than not you would be tortured in your home country. “More likely than not” is a high standard but bear in mind that the immigration judge has no discretion once we make the showing. We are more likely to be able to seek and obtain either of the types of protection available under CAT where we can show a consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights. Relief can be sought when there are removal proceedings underway or when the government is trying to reinstate a prior removal order or asks that you be removed because you are not a citizen, and you were convicted of an aggravated felony.

Hire Our Washington D.C. Asylum Law Firm

If you fear torture in your home country, you should discuss your circumstances with our experienced Washington D.C. immigration law attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti as soon as possible. Mr. Famiglietti represents refugees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.

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