Apart from asylum, persons who are undergoing removal/deportation proceedings can also raise two other defenses: withholding of removal, and the Convention Against Torture (CAT). A person can raise either or both defenses using the USCIS’s Form I-589.
Withholding of removal
A person can succeed on a withholding of removal defense is she can demonstrate it is more likely than not she will suffer future persecution upon returning to her home country due to her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The applicant would be required to show a greater than 50 percent chance likelihood of that persecution.
Unlike an asylee, a person who secures a withholding of removal defense does not qualify to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. (i.e., to receive a green card). However, she would be able to stay and work lawfully in the U.S.
Convention Against Torture (CAT)
The Convention Against Torture (CAT) defense can also be available to a person who fears the likelihood of torture in her home country. To succeed in this defense, she must show she is more likely than not to be (1) tortured directly by the government; or (2) tortured indirectly, with the government’s acquiescence—meaning the government was aware of the torture, but did not try to stop it.