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Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar
Clinical Professor of Law  
Director, Center for Immigrants' Rights

SSRN Profile
Curriculum Vitae

(814) 865-3823

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
B.A., Indiana University, with honors

Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is a nationally recognized scholar of immigration law whose research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law; the association between detention, removal and due process; and the intersection between immigration, national security, and race. Her book, Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, will be published by New York University Press in 2015 and is the first book on the topic of immigration prosecutorial discretion.

She is the founder/director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, where students produce practitioner toolkits, white papers, and primers of national impact on behalf of client organizations.  Clients have included the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights First, Kids in Need of Defense, the National Guestworker Alliance, the National Immigrant Justice Center, among others. At the Center, students also provide community outreach and education on immigration topics and  legal support in individual cases of immigrants challenging deportation (removal). Recently, the Center began conducting group rights presentations for immigration detainees held at the Clinton County Jail.​

Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Wadhia was deputy director for legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C. She has been honored by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Inspector General and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and in 2003, she was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. She has also been an associate with Maggio Kattar, P.C. in Washington, D.C., where she litigated asylum, deportation, and employment-based immigration benefits matters.


Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases (New York University Press, forthcoming)

Law Reviews

The Rise of Speed Deportation and the Role of Discretion,” Columbia Journal of Race and Law (Volume 5, Issue1).

Immigration Remarks for the 10th Annual Wiley A. Branton Symposium,” Vol. 57 No. 3 HOW. L.J. (2014).

My Great FOIA Adventure and Discoveries of Deferred Action Cases at ICE,” 27 Geo. Immig. L.J. (2013).

In Defense of DACA, Deferred Action, and the DREAM Act,” 91 Texas L. Rev. SEE ALSO 59  (2013).

The Immigration Prosecutor and the Judge: Examining the Role of the Judiciary in Prosecutorial Discretion Decisions,” 16 Harv. Latino L. Rev.  39 (2013).

Sharing Secrets: Examining Deferred Action and Transparency in Immigration Law,” 10 U. N. H. L. Rev. 1 (2012).

Business As Usual: Immigration and the National Security Exception,” 114 Penn State L. Rev. 1485 (2010).

The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law,” 9 Connecticut Pub. Int. L. J. 243 (2010) (reprinted in Immigration and Nationality Law Review, William S. Hein & Co.).

Under Arrest: Immigrants’ Rights and the Rule of Law,” 38 U. Memphis L. Rev. 853 (2008).

The Policy and Politics of Immigrant Rights,” 16 Temple Pol. & Civil Rts. L. Rev. 387 (2007).

Immigration: Mind Over Matter,” 5 U. Md. L. J. on Race, Religion, Gender & Class 201 (2006).

Book Chapters and Essays

"Immigration Law’s Catch-22: The Case for Removing the Three and Ten-Year Bars,” in LexisNexis Legal Newsroom Immigration Law  (LexisNexis, November 2014).

Reflections on Prosecutorial Discretion One Year After the Morton Memo,” in Emerging Issues Analysis (LexisNexis, June 2012).

“Who are the Players in Immigration Law?” in What Every Lawyer Should Know About Immigration Law  (American Bar Association 2012).

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Agencies: A Year in Review,” in Emerging Issues Analysis (LexisNexis, January 2012).

The Term Illegal Alien,” in Debates on U.S. Immigration, (Sage Publications, 2012).

Immigration Policy Center, The Morton Memo and Prosecutorial Discretion: An Overview, (July 2011).

Immigration Policy Center, American Immigration Council, Reading the Morton Memo: Federal Priorities and Prosecutorial Discretion, (December 2010).

"Letter to Lahore," The Subcontinental Vol. 1, Issue 3 (2004) (with Sin Yen Ling).

Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, Immigration Policy: Transition Blueprint for the Obama Administration, (2008) (contributor).