Immigrants face removal from the United States if they are charged with a crime or
are caught living or working in the United States illegally.
Removal Hearings
Formally called deportation, immigration removal proceedings determine whether an immigrant decide
whether a foreign national qualifies for removal or is eligible for relief under special circumstances,
including but not limited to:

Voluntary departure
Accused immigrants choose to leave the country on their own accord.

Cancellation of removal
Lawful Permanent Residents and Non-lawful permanent residents may be eligible for a cancellation of
removal if they meet the specified requirements.

Asylum
danger if they return to their home country.
entering legally from outside the United States, and is determined to have met certain Under this
Discrimination and prosecution are not bases for asylum.
Asylum really is a subject that relates to humanitarian treatment of people. It is a defense in a
deportation/removal hearing and if proven, allows for an alien to remain in the United States and
usually, after one year, to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). An LPR is what we normally call
a permanent resident, if you haven’t heard the term before.

An Asylee is an alien who meets the definition of a refugee but who is physically present in the United
States, or at least at a land border or point of entry of the United States, at the time he or she is seeking
refuge in this country.
A definition for asylum, or for one who claims asylum, is an alien who has a fear of persecution and the
fear must be “well founded” and the persecution feared must be “on account of race, religion,
nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, and the alien must be unwilling
to return to his country of nationality or the country in which he last habitually resided because of
persecution or his well founded fear of persecution.

HISTORY OF ASYLUM AND TIES TO INTERNATIONAL LAW

Asylum law in the United States is an offshoot of International Law. The U.S. is one of the countries in
the United Nations that has become a party to an agreement known as the 1951 United Nations
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and also the 1968 United Nations Protocol relating to
the Status of Refugees. I do not believe that the U.S. has agreed to the entire United Nations’ position,
but the U.S. has agreed to a large part of it. Civilized countries will not tolerate oppression to people
and we will open our doors in the United States to people who have been persecuted. Under the law
of the United States, the courts are directed to construe legislation in the United States in a way that is
consistent with international obligations. Weinberger v. Rossi, 456 U.S. 25, 32 (1982); Murray v. The
Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. (2 Cranch) 64, 118 (1804).

The United States follows the United Nations Convention, but we focus on the type of prejudice or to
what the harm is directed. There are five categories of persecution:

(1)Race (2)Religion (3)Nationality (4)Member of a particular social group (5)Political opinion
VERY IMPORTANT: YOU MUST FILE YOUR ASYLUM CLAIM WITHIN ONE (1)
YEAR OF YOUR ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

Examples:

1. If you are a black person and are persecuted because you are black and your freedom is
threatened, then you may qualify for asylum in the United States. When you made entry into the
United States, you can file an asylum claim, eventually get a green card, and become a Legal
Permanent Resident. This could eventually lead to American citizenship.

2, In the same manner, if your life or freedom is threatened because of your religion, i.e., Islamic,
Christian, Jewish and Buddhist, to name but a few, you may qualify for asylum. If you are a member
of a particular social group who is persecuted such as a homosexual, you may qualify for asylum.
Criminal Problems consider the Convention against Torture
person from the United States if that person would more likely than not be tortured in his country.
There are two types of defenses. First a withholding of Removal type, which is a defense to removal. it
allows the alien which avoid the removal but could keep the alien in detention and at a later date the
immigration judge could allow the removal of the alien to his country if the country conditions are
favorable. Obviously the first option is the best. The torture convention is a defense even if the alien
committed a felony. This is a good defense, use it.

Torture in the act is defined as “an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or her or a third person
information or a confession, punishing him or her for an act he or she or a third person has committed
any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the
instigation of or with the consent or acquiesce of a public official or other person acting in a official
capacity.”