Political asylum/withholding of deportation
Aliens served with an NTA can apply for political asylum before the Immigration Judge, who will have adjudicate the application, even if an asylum application has been previously submitted to and is pending before an Asylum Officer. When a person in removal requests relief in the form of political asylum, withholding of deportation automatically attaches.
A hearing would then ensue on the political asylum claim. The claimant is required to prove his or her claim in the same manner that he or she would have done even if removal proceedings had not commenced. An applicant must display a well-founded fear of persecution if he or she is returned to his or her homeland and that the persecution arises out of the applicant’s political beliefs, religious affiliations, or other personal characteristics that an applicant cannot or should not have to change, i.e., gender.