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Center Publications

Publications​

Inside Family Detention: Notes on the Ground By Penn State Law Center for Immigrants Rights Clinic:

Self-Help Guide for Asylum-Seekers
Spanish
French
Arabic

Guide to seeking asylum, withholding of removal, and convention against torture protection, created by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights, the University of Maine's School of Law's Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, and THRIVE International Programs.

2020

 

 


 

Detained Immigrants and Access to Counsel in Pennsylvania

Detained Immigrants and Access to Counsel in Pennsylvania highlights the importance of providing counsel to improve immigrants’ due process rights. Under the supervision of Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and founding director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Penn State Law students, including Sara Firestone and Yousra Chatti worked on the report for more than a year, conducting research and drafting 

the report itself while working closely with the PAIFUP members.

Press Release
Philadelphia Inquirer Coverage

October 2019


Updated Practice Advisory on Challenging Notices to Appear

The American Immigration Council published an updated practice advisory on challenging Notices to Appear. Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic played an important role in developing the first version of this advisory in 2013.

February 27, 2019

 


 

 

 


DACAmented Law Students and Lawyers in the Trump Era

Link to the full reportA new issue brief from the Center for American Progress and the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law examines the feeling of uncertainty that has invaded most every aspect of life for DACA recipients pursuing legal careers since President Donald Trump took office. The brief highlights the complex experiences of nearly three dozen law students and lawyers with DACA and provides policy recommendations to help support these individuals in their education and chosen profession.

Press Release

June 7, 2018



 


press release thumbnailBack Into the Future of Immigration: Personal Stories by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
The  Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, in partnership with Penn State University Libraries Open Publishing, has published this e open-access monograph, showcasing personal stories from past and current students of the clinic. 

Press Release

October 26, 2018




 

 


Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers

Cover of Imprisoned Justice Report

Penn State Law News Release

May 4, 2017

Media Coverage:

 


Practitioner's Toolkit On Cancellation of Removal For Lawful Permanent Residents

Created on behalf of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), the toolkit is a resource for immigration attorneys representing lawful permanent residents who are facing removal from the United States. May 16, 2016.

The 2016 toolkit includes information about:

- aggravated felonies,
- detention,
- the discretionary component of Cancellation of Removal,
- who is ineligible for LPR Cancellation of Removal,
- steps to take to apply for LPR Cancellation of Removal,
- steps for obtaining client records, and
- alternative remedies. 

Press Release


Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives

Presentation Slides
Entry and Reentry Screening Instrument

The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic led a discussion on illegal entry and reentry prosecutions under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1325-1326. The panel discussion featured Peter J. Smith, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Heidi Freese, assistant federal public defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Grace Meng, senior researcher for the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch; and Lori Ulrich, assistant federal public defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

April 21, 2016.

Press Release and Additional Materials


Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives 

Presentation Slides
Entry and Reentry Screening Instrument

The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic led a discussion on illegal entry and reentry prosecutions under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1325-1326. The panel discussion featured Peter J. Smith, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Heidi Freese, assistant federal public defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Grace Meng, senior researcher for the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch; and Lori Ulrich, assistant federal public defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Press Release and Additional Materials

April 21, 2016


Refugee Adjustment Toolkit

The “Refugee and Asylee Adjustment Toolkit” is a comprehensive resource for refugees and asylees applying for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, commonly known as a “green card,” before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The toolkit offers step-by-step guidance for practitioners, including relevant forms, statutory and regulatory authority, case law, recent developments, secondary resources and practice tips.

Press 

2016

 

 

 

 


New Report calls for improvements to DHS Notice to Appear procedure

“To File or Not to File,” a report released today by the Center for Immigrants’ Rights at Penn State Law highlights the rate and circumstances surrounding Notice to Appear (NTA) filings at the immigration court. The report is available to the public online.

Press Release

October 22, 2013

 

 

 

 

 


Immigration Relief for Victims of Abuse and Domestic Violence
Centre County Women's Resource Center's Civil Legal Representation Project

Advocates and attorneys who work with victims of domestic violence need to understand the dynamics of power and control and how they affect the safety of their clients. This understanding is especially important in working with non-citizen victims who often face additional hurdles compared to American citizens. The Center for Immigrants' Rights has published "Immigration Relief for Victims of Abuse and Domestic Violence," a toolkit to help practitioners in representing immigrant victims of domestic abuse.

July 17, 2012

 

 

 

 

 


Leveling the Playing Field: Reforming the H-2B Program to Protect Guestworkers and U.S. Workers

This report highlights cases of exploitation from Texas to Tennessee, and calls for four indispensible reforms that would end employer abuse and protect both guest workers and U.S. workers:

- Guaranteeing guest workers the right to organize without fear of retaliation;
- Prohibiting employers from using guest workers as cheap, exploitable alternatives to U.S. workers;
- Eliminating debt servitude and other elements of human trafficking in the program; and
- Subjecting employers to meaningful government enforcement and community oversight.

Press Release

June 21, 2012





 


The NSEERS Effect: A Decade of Racial Profiling, Fear, and Secrecy
Rights Working Group

Excerpt:
In the wake of the tragic attacks of September 11, 2011, the landscape of immigration law and policy in the United States changed dramatically as the government scrambled to create counterterrorism programs to respond to potential national security threats. One program is the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) or "special registration" that was initiated by the Department of Justice in 2002 and inherited by the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. NSEERS served as a tool that allowed the government to systematically target Arabs, Middle Easterners, Muslims, and South Asians from designated countries for advanced scrutiny. ...The purpose of this report is to analyze the impact of NSEERS in its current form and make recommendations for meaningful reform. (Read more)

The report also aims to educate individuals, policymakers, and advocates about NSEERS. It also builds on a 2009 white paper prepared by the Center for Immigrants’ Rights on behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Press Release

June 4, 2012

 


Behind Closed Doors: An Overview of DHS Restrictions on Access to Counsel
American Immigration Council (formerly American Immigration Law Foundation)

The Center collaborated with LAC to produce a white paper addressing the law, policy and practice surrounding right to counsel in non-removal contexts before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To reach this end, students at the Center reviewed an internal legal memorandum prepared by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and LAC; a detailed memo prepared by the Center analyzing individual attorney experiences with restrictions on access before DHS; and conduct additional research pertaining to access to counsel. The white paper articulates the legal and policy standards governing an individual’s right to counsel in various non-removal settings in order to provide a framework for understanding the rights of represented individuals as well as the agency culture that continues to limit and deny representation in encounters before DHS. The white paper illustrates how current DHS practices 1) do not comply with existing law and/or 2) are restrictive interpretations of the law that are not good policy. The paper includes recommendations to DHS and possibly other federal agencies for improving access to counsel through administrative fixes that may or may not include regulatory fixes and changes to current agency guidance.

Press Release

May 31, 2012

 


The 9/11 Effect and its Legacy on U.S. Immigration Laws: Essays, Remarks, and Photographs

An anthology of 9/11 reflections released today by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights and the Penn State School of International Affairs concentrates on the impact of the attacks on the lives of immigrants and immigration policy, providing both a report card and ideas for the future. The publication entitled The 9/11 Effect and its Legacy on U.S. Immigration Laws: Essays, Remarks, and Photographs is available for complimentary download online

Press Release

September 16, 2011

 





 

 


The One-Year Asylum Deadline and the BIA: No Protection, No Process


Human Rights First
National Immigrant Justice Center

The right to seek asylum from persecution is a fundamental and long-recognized human right. The United States committed to protecting refugees in 1967 when it signed the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and later enacted legislation to incorporate the Protocol’s key provisions into domestic law.  Despite these commitments, in 1996 Congress enacted a filing deadline for asylum applications which has resulted in potentially denying protections to thousands of legitimate refugees.

Press Release

October 21, 2010




 

 


Up Against the Asylum Clock: Fixing the Broken Employment Authorization Asylum Clock 

American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center


The Center for Immigrants' Rights at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law (Center) and the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) collaborated to write this report on the asylum clock. The goals of the report are: (1) to identify problems with the government’s management of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) asylum clock; and (2) suggest a new policy for operation of the EAD asylum clock. The report incorporates information obtained by the Center and the LAC and analyzes information from attorneys, organizations, and individuals about their experiences with the “asylum clock.”

Press Release

February 12, 2010



 

 


Playing Politics at the Bench:  A White Paper on the Justice Department’s Investigation into the Hiring Practices of Immigration Judges

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

On behalf of the National Lawyers Guild National Immigration Project (NLGNIP), the Center for Immigrants' Rights (Center) at the Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law prepared a white paper facilitated by a government report on the politicized hiring of immigration judges. This white paper is based findings by the Department of Justice‘s Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Inspector General in their investigation of the illegal hiring of immigration judges during a period in the George W. Bush Administration. The recommendations presented here are a product of this analysis and extensive research on data produced by individuals and organizations committed to due process and justice in immigration law.

Press Release

October 1, 2009

 



 

 


NSEERS: The Consequences of America's Efforts to Secure Its Borders

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

On behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Center for Immigrants’ Rights (Center) at the Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law prepared a white paper on the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS or “special registration”). The white paper provides a legal and policy analysis of the NSEERS program, and recommendations for a new administration. In conducting the research, students at the Center interviewed immigration attorneys who have represented individuals impacted by the NSEERS program; and advocates and policymakers who have spoken or written about the NSEERS program in the larger context of United States immigration and counterterrorism policies after September 11, 2001. In addition, the Center examined governing statutes, regulations and statistics issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Finally, the Center reviewed previous reports by advocates and non-governmental organizations regarding the NSEERS program, and more than forty related federal court decisions.

Press Release

March 31, 2009