Questions & Answers: Reasonable Fear Screenings
Certain individuals are prohibited from challenging removability before an Immigration Judge (IJ) or from seeking any relief from removal, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may not remove individuals to a country where they are “more likely than not” going to be persecuted or tortured.
If you have been ordered removed and you express a fear of returning to the country to which you have been ordered removed, ICE must refer your case to an asylum officer who will determine whether you have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture.
If the asylum officer finds that you have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture, you are given an opportunity to seek withholding of removal or deferral of removal before an IJ.
If the asylum officer does not find that you have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture, you may request that an IJ review the negative reasonable fear determination. If you do not request review by the IJ or the IJ upholds the negative determination, ICE may remove you from the United States. If the IJ reverses the negative reasonable fear decision, you will be placed in proceedings before an IJ who will determine if you are eligible for withholding or deferral of removal only.
Q. Under what circumstances do asylum officers conduct reasonable fear interviews?
Q. When do reasonable fear interviews take place?
Q. What is a reasonable fear of persecution?
Q. What is a reasonable fear of torture?
Q. Are there any mandatory bars to establishing a reasonable fear of persecution or torture or withholding of removal?
The Immigration Judge (IJ) will consider whether you are barred from a grant of withholding of removal for the following reasons:
Q. What will happen if the Asylum Officer finds a reasonable fear?
Q. What will happen before the Immigration Judge?
If the asylum officer or IJ finds that you have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture, the IJ will consider whether you are barred from a grant of withholding of removal. If a bar applies, but you established that you would be tortured in the country of return, the IJ will grant deferral of removal.
If the IJ grants withholding of removal, ICE cannot remove you to the country where you fear persecution or torture, but ICE may remove you to another country. If the IJ does not grant withholding of removal, you may appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Q. What will happen if the asylum officer does not find a reasonable fear?
Q. Where do I find the law about reasonable fear screenings?
Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/18/2013