Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
twitter   facebook   linkedin   Instagram   webmail
Give Now Apply Now

Seventh Circuit judge cites Professor Wadhia in federal appeals court decision

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and Clinical Professor of Law Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia was twice cited by Judge Richard Posner in an immigration decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

The case, Robledo-Soto v. Lynch, involved a Mexican citizen (Antonio Robledo-Soto), the father of three American-citizen children who lived in the United States for 9 ½ years. Robledo-Soto sought to postpone his removal (deportation) proceedings in order to expunge a drunk-driving offense from his record, and better his ability to persuade the Department of Homeland Security to exercise prosecutorial discretion and drop its case against him.

Robledo-Soto was successful in expunging his record and, had the program been operational, would have qualified for a form of prosecutorial discretion called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  DAPA is one of two deferred action programs announced by President Barack Obama in late 2014 that is currently on hold because of a 4-4 split by the Supreme Court last June.

In describing prosecutorial discretion in the immigration system, Judge Posner referenced Wadhia’s article, “The History of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law,” which explains the history of prosecutorial discretion and connects to the deferred action programs announced by the president in 2014.

Later in the decision, Wadhia’s work is again referenced; this time, a piece titled “The Aftermath of United States v. Texas: Rediscovering Deferred Action,” published in the Yale Journal on Regulation, Notice and Comment. This piece discusses the decision in United States v. Texas and further analyzes a data set of more than 180 deferred action cases processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit within DHS.

Wadhia, 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. Wadhia’s book, Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, published by NYU Press, is the first of its kind in describing prosecutorial discretion and its application.

Share this story