Serial No. 34: Immigration Relief under the Convention against Torture for Serious Criminal and Human Rights Violators: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, July 11, 2003   [open pdf - 598KB]

From the opening statement of John N. Hostettler: "The United States signed the Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment in April 1988, and the Torture Convention was forwarded to the U.S. Senate for ratification, which occurred in October 1990. However, portions of the Convention Against Torture, or CAT, including the Article 3, the so-called ''nonrefoulement'' provision, were not self-executing. The implementing legislation became law in October 1998. The Justice Department's regulations, which created immigration relief under the convention, took effect in March 1999. With the new form of relief from deportation available in March 1999, many aliens who had exhausted and were ineligible for all other forms of deportation relief filed motions to reopen or remand their cases so that they could now claim that they would be tortured upon return to their country, and therefore could not be deported. From March 1999 through August 2002, the Justice Department adjudicated 53,471 alien applications for relief under the Convention Against Torture; 53,471 adjudications. Certainly a large number of criminal and illegal aliens are claiming they will be subject to torture. Only 1,741 aliens were granted CAT relief by immigration judges during those 3 1/2 years. Clearly many aliens are filing meritless claims and are using this international treaty as yet another immigration delay tactic to stay here in the U.S." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: John N. Hostettler, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve King, C. Stewart Verdery, Eli Rosenbaum, Dan Stein, Regina Germain, Richard Krieger, Morton Sklar, and Susan Benesch.

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Serial No. 34
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