Convention Against Torture
Convention Against Torture (CAT) relief is granted only in certain limited situations. To qualify for this form of immigration relief, you will need to show a clear probability—a more than 50% chance—that you will be tortured upon returning to your country of origin. If this option is appropriate for your circumstances, our immigration lawyers can help you apply for CAT relief. Unlike most immigration law firms, Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet is regularly in court before the EOIR, handling deportation defense cases. We represent foreign nationals throughout the U.S. who are in immigration detention. Our Chicago and Milwaukee deportation defense attorneys provide a broad spectrum of services, helping people doing time after convictions with the bond process and seeking work authorizations for our clients so that they can get back to their jobs after they get out of jail.
Our team understands the gravity of the situations that our clients face. We know that your life and the future of your family are at stake, and we gain personal satisfaction from handling complicated cases that many immigration lawyers would turn down. Anyone in this area of the law will tell you that CAT cases are notoriously challenging, but we have prevailed in many of them over the past several years. We can represent people who are already in deportation proceedings without a hearing having been scheduled, as well as people who are in the administrative review process. With two offices in Chicago, we are well situated to advocate for foreign nationals before the EOIR or in other proceedings.Pursuing Convention Against Torture Relief
CAT relief may be the only chance to stay in this country for people who are ineligible for cancellation of removal or withholding of removal. This type of relief is available to anyone, no matter how serious a crime you may have committed. Even foreign nationals who have committed murder or other aggravated felonies may be eligible for relief. However, it is the most difficult to establish of these three forms of relief, since it requires a likelihood, not just a possibility, of your sustaining harm upon your return to your country of origin.
To obtain relief, you will need to show that it is more likely than not that you personally would face torture if you were removed to the country from which you are claiming protection. Torture is any intentional, unlawful infliction of serious physical or mental suffering or pain in an effort to punish, get a confession, intimidate, or discriminate. Rape, electric shock, deprivation of food or water, and beatings qualify as torture. The torture must have been performed at the request of the government, with the acquiescence or complicity of the government, or in a situation in which the government is unable to protect you from torture by another identifiable group or organization. You must be at risk of torture in any area of your country of origin, not simply your hometown or region.
If you meet the elements, you must be granted CAT protection. There is no discretion involved. However, you should still retain an attorney. Your attorney can help you try to meet the extremely high legal standard and retain expert witnesses to support your claim that you are likely to be tortured in the future if you are returned to your country of origin. Any torture that you previously suffered is a factor to consider but not a guarantee of obtaining CAT protection.
An attorney can make sure that you present objective information, such as news articles and country reports, as well as evidence about the torture that you are afraid of facing if you have to return, any torture that you suffered in the past in that country, any torture that your close family suffered, and how your government tortured any other people who were similar to you. For example, the plight of Syrian refugees has been well-documented. More than 12,000 Syrians have been killed while being tortured in detention since the civil war began.
If you qualify only for CAT, you are probably subject to mandatory detention during the course of the removal proceedings. CAT protection may be terminated if you are no longer at risk of being tortured in your country of origin. This protection will not make you eligible for naturalization or a green card.
Usually, foreign nationals apply for asylum, withholding, and CAT at the same time by completing a Form I-589. There is no separate formal application for CAT, and there is no time period during which you need to apply for CAT protection. This type of protection may be requested even after you receive a final order of deportation. You will need to check a box on the first page of the form that indicates your intention to apply for CAT. You will also need to submit extensive supporting evidence related to torture in your home country and why you would be subject to it.Enlist a Knowledgeable Deportation Defense Attorney in Chicago or Milwaukee
The Milwaukee and Chicago deportation defense lawyers at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet are ready to represent people who need to obtain Convention Against Torture relief. We travel nationwide to represent clients facing deportation and interview people in detention centers. Our firm not only files applications on behalf of our clients but also obtains declarations, affidavits, country reports, and other important documents. Contact us online or call us at 773-562-6884 or 773-562-6884 to set up a consultation.