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Professor Wadhia to participate in immigration law panel at AALS meeting

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Law professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is participating in a panel discussion on immigration law this week at the 110th annual meeting of The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in New York City. The discussion, “Is Immigration Law Administrative Law?” is jointly sponsored by the AALS immigration law and administrative law sections and will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 7.

Joining Wadhia on the panel are Bijal Shah of New York University School of Law, David Rubenstein of Washburn University School of Law, and Christopher J. Walker of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. The discussion will be moderated by Jill Family of the Widener University Commonwealth Law School.

President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions establishing a process for certain immigrant populations to apply for deferred action, and the legal challenges to those actions, has renewed interest in the intersection of immigration law and administrative law. This panel seeks both to situate immigration law within the larger administrative law landscape and, at the same time, to determine the extent to which meaningful immigration law reform might exist without legislation.   

AALS, founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 180 law schools. Its members enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. The mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education.

Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law, is an expert on immigration law and one of the nation’s leading scholars on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law. Her scholarship in this area has served as a foundation for scholars, advocates, and government officials seeking to understand or design a strong prosecutorial discretion policy. Her work identifies the historical role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law, the extent to which some acts of discretion operate as a benefit, and the dynamic role and need for transparency, sound procedures, and accountability. Her book Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases was published by New York University Press in 2015 and is the first book to comprehensively describe the history, theory, and application of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law.

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