Deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) means that an order of removal is entered, but the judge also orders the government not to remove or deport the individual because of the likelihood of torture in the home country. To win deferral of removal under CAT, an applicant must show that it is “more likely than not” that she would be subjected to torture upon a return to her home country. A noncitizen can be granted relief under CAT regardless of her criminal record. Also, the torture the applicant fears does not need to be on account of race religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Deferral of removal under CAT is a far more tenuous and temporary form of relief than asylum or withholding of removal. Under the regulations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can file a motion for termination of the order of deferral. This motion is not subject to normal rules for motions to reopen and “shall be granted if it is accompanied by evidence that is relevant to the possibility that the alien would be tortured in the country to which removal has been deferred and that was not presented at the previous hearing.” The regulations do not require the government to show that the evidence is new or was unavailable at prior hearings. The noncitizen in deferral status then must respond by submitting supplementary information that shows that she continues to face the likelihood of torture upon removal. The immigration judge will consider the evidence and arguments and makes a new decision on whether the noncitizen would more likely than not be tortured on a return to the home country. The burden of proof remains on the noncitizen in the new hearing despite the fact that she was already once granted deferral of removal under CAT. If the noncitizen does not meet her burden, deferral is terminated and the noncitizen can be removed.
Noncitizens in deferral status can apply for an employment authorization document from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Those in deferral status are not authorized to travel abroad and then reenter the United States.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!