HOUSTON IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION ATTORNEYS
Serving Clients in Houston, West Houston, Southwest Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Copperfield, Memorial, Spring, Northwest Houston, Northchase, Spring Cypress, Champion Forest, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Lake Houston, Midtown, Memorial, West Oaks, Royal Oaks, Clear Lake, League City, Westchase Business District, Harris County, and Galveston County.
HOUSTON TEXAS IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS
Assisting Asylum Seekers and Refugees Gaining Freedom!
Asylum Applications, Withholding of Removal, and United Nations Convention Against Torture
Asylum provides a foreign national a form of protection in the United States based on past persecution or well-grounded fear of future persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Foreign nationals who meet this definition of a “refugee” under Section 101 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), 8 U.S.C.S. Section 1101, and who are already in the United States, or who are seeking to enter the United States at a port of entry, may qualify for a grant of asylum. If granted, the asylee are permitted to remain in the United States and adjust their status to become permanent residents, green-card holder. If you or your relatives feel that you may be eligible for asylum applications, please call the Houston Asylum Attorneys and the Houston Asylum Application Lawyers at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham
A foreign national who is in the U.S. or at the port of entry may file an asylum application with the USCIS. This is often referred as “Affirmative Asylum Application.” At the port of entry, the applicant would request an application for asylum. The applicant would then be interviewed by an Asylum Officer. If the foreign national presents sufficient evidence to show that he or she may have been persecuted or has credible fear of persecution, the person will be “paroled” into the U.S. to prepare and file the affirmative asylum application with the USCIS. If the application is denied by the USCIS, the person will be issued a “Notice to Appear” (NTA) in immigration court for removal proceedings. At this time, the applicant has another opportunity to file an asylum application with the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), which would be the Immigration Judge at the removal hearing. This is often called a Defensive Asylum Application, because the application is being used as a defense to removal from the U.S.
The Houston Asylum Lawyers and the North Houston Asylum Application Attorneys at Veritas will assist you in preparing and filing the asylum application and evidence with the USCIS or with the Immigration Judge. Our attorneys will need your assistance in gathering information and evidence in presenting your case. To successfully file an asylum application, you must demonstrate that, (1) you are currently in the U.S. (if the applicant is outside the U.S., the application process is a “Refugee Application”); (2) you have “well founded fear of persecution,” either based on past persecution or evidence of well founded fear of future persecution by the government of the person’s last place of residence or by group of people in which the government is unwilling or unable to control; (3) your persecution must be based on a protected group, which includes race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership to a particular group; (4) you must demonstrate that unable or unwilling to return to the country of last residence because of such persecution; (5) your asylum application must be filed within one (1) year from the date of entry, unless you can demonstrate that there is a change of circumstances that would not allow you to file the application within the one-year requirement; and (6) you must demonstrate that you are under statutory-bar from filing an asylum application. The bar may be applied to the following categories:
Failure to file an asylum application within 1-year from the date of entry (regardless of documented or undocumented status);
Foreign nationals who may be safely removed to another country;
Applicants who were previously denied an asylum application (waivers are available where the alien shows that changed of circumstances is applicable); though, the person may file an application with the USCIS and again with the Immigration Judge;
Foreign nationals who participated in the persecution of others;
Foreign nationals who were “convicted” of serious crimes that may be a danger to the public or the security of the U.S. or its citizens;
Applicants who may have “committed,” not necessary “convicted,” a serious crime that is not politically motivated (but may be eligible under the application for Withholding of Removal or Convention Against Torture);
Those who may have engaged in terrorist activity or has been ordered to be removed from the U.S. based on said activities.
Withholding of Removal
Even if the applicant is denied asylum, the foreign national may still be qualified under withholding of removal. The application for an asylum application is also the application under Withholding of Removal and CAT. To qualify under Withholding of removal, the applicant must demonstrate that the person’s "life or freedom would be threatened" on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate that there is a “clear probability” that the persecution would occur if the person were to be removed. This is a higher threshold than the “well founded fear” requirement under asylum.
United Nations Convention Against Torture
Lastly, in conjunction with the asylum application and the Application for Withholding of Removal, our Houston Deportation Defense Attorneys and our Houston Removal Defense Lawyers will also apply for protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) on behalf of our clients. Under CAT, the U.S. government cannot remove a person to a country in which he or she is “more likely than not” would be “tortured.” The “more likely than not” or “substantial grounds to believe” standard is a less burden of proof, but the person will need to demonstrate that he or she cannot “relocate” to a different region within the country. In addition, “torture” is defined as an act by which severe pain or suffering (physical or mental) is intentionally inflicted to obtain information or a confession, for punishment, for intimidation or coercion, or for another reason based on discrimination; and the act was inflicted by the government, or by others under the government’s consent, or by a group that the government is unwilling or unable to control.
Asylum applications are very complicated and the issues are often confusing even to the most experience attorneys. Please contact our Houston Asylum Attorneys and our Houston Withholding of Removal and CAT Lawyers for more information. Whether an asylum application is successful is based on the truthfulness of the facts presented and the evidence to support the application. Our Asylum Attorneys and assist you in preparing and filing the application, including presenting dozens of exhibits as evidence for your application. Please contact our office at 713-517-6645.
Immigration Law is a vast area of law and every situation is unique. You should NOT rely on the limited information on this general site in replacing a personal consultation with an experienced Houston Immigration Lawyer. There may be legal issues, depending on the facts and circumstances, in which you may not be aware. Call the U.S. Asylum Application Attorneys and the Spring Asylum Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.