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Clinic collaborates with State College Mayor on immigrant deportation deferral programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – This semester, Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants' Rights has been working with the State College Mayor’s Office to educate the community on President Barack Obama's executive action programs on immigration.

Under the supervision of the center’s director, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, second-year law students Jose Figueroa and Tulsi Patel provided related legal analysis and support to Mayor Elizabeth Goreham on these programs.  This collaboration laid the groundwork for the mayor’s endorsement of a national amicus brief signed by more than 70 mayors, cities, county executives, and counties from across the country in support of the president’s executive actions on immigration.  The brief was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on April 6. The brief supports the position of the U.S. Department of Justice, which seeks to overturn a February ruling by a Texas judge, who issued a temporary injunction on the administration’s deportation deferral programs.   

“It means a lot to me to have participated in some small way to support the president’s actions” said Goreham. She continued, “My experience with the Center for Immigrants’ Rights has deeply impacted my understanding of immigration law and policy and the significant role that mayors can play locally and nationally.”

Additionally on Monday, in conjunction with the mayor’s endorsement, law professors filed another amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit supporting the legal foundation and history to support programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  This brief draws from a letter filed by more than 100 immigration law professors declaring the injunction by Judge Andrew Hanen “deeply flawed.”

The U.S. Department of Justice filed its opening brief on March 30. Oral arguments are scheduled in the Fifth Circuit on April 17.

On April 20, and also in collaboration with Mayor Goreham, students at the center will discuss the DACA and DAPA  programs with the community at a State College Borough Council meeting and answer questions members of the public and borough officials may have about the legal and policy issues surrounding these programs.


Vanessa McLaughlin
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