Many people who come to the U.S. from another country are seeking more than a better standard of living and the chance to reunite with family. They are escaping a dangerous political situation or religious conflict in their country of origin. One that could make them a target for torture if they were forced to return.
Fortunately, if your fears of torture are well-founded, the law is on your side against deportation. The U.N. Convention Against Torture requires the U.S. not to deport anyone to a country “where there are substantial grounds for believing that the person would be in danger of torture.” Torture is defined as any intentional act that causes severe pain or suffering. The act must be committed by a public official or someone acting in an official capacity or with an official’s consent or agreement. The victim must be in the official’s custody at the time. Mental and physical torture are both recognized.
Proving you need refuge from torture
To receive Convention Against Torture protection, you must prove that you would be tortured “more likely than not” if the U.S. government deports you. Evidence to prove your claim can include:
- Evidence of torture you suffered in the past.
- Evidence of human rights violations in your previous country.
- Evidence that no place in your previous country is safe, that is, you could not escape the torture risk by moving to a different part of the country.
- Any other relevant information about your previous country.
You will likely testify in immigration court about why you need protection against torture. Your immigration attorney will help you prepare for your hearing and gather evidence in your favor.