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Center Publications

The latest publications from the Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic are below. Click the following links to see prior publications grouped by Policy ReportsCommunity & Education, and Practitioner Toolkits.

New Publications

Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers

Cover of Imprisoned Justice Report

Penn State Law News Release

Media Coverage:

 

 


Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives 

Presentation Slides
Entry and Reentry Screening Instrument
Infographic/Fact Sheet

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


State College Borough Presentation on U.S. v. Texas
Understanding United States v. Texas

As part of the the center's continuing work with State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, clinic students David Harrington and Faith Van Horn spoke at the State College Borough Council meeting on April 18, 2016, the same day as oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas. They provided an overview of current immigration law and policy and outlined the issues at stake in the case. They explained how U.S. v. Texas could affect local communities and families and discussed actions that communities and local governments can take in the current legal climate.

Press Release

April 18, 2016


Penn State College Democrats Presentation

Clinic students David Harrington and Faith Van Horn also spoke to the Penn State College Democrats student organization leading up to oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas. Like their April 18 presentation before the State College Borough Council, they provided an overview of current immigration law and policy and outlined the issues at stake in the case. 

April 11, 2016

 

 


Policy Reports

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
National Guestworker Alliance

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 at www.law.psu.edu/9_11_effect.

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


Community & Education

Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives 

Presentation Slides
Entry and Reentry Screening Instrument
Infographic/Fact Sheet

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


State College Borough Presentation on U.S. v. Texas
Understanding United States v. Texas

As part of the the center's continuing work with State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, clinic students David Harrington and Faith Van Horn spoke at the State College Borough Council meeting on April 18, 2016, the same day as oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas. They provided an overview of current immigration law and policy and outlined the issues at stake in the case. They explained how U.S. v. Texas could affect local communities and families and discussed actions that communities and local governments can take in the current legal climate.

Press Release

April 18, 2016


Penn State College Democrats Presentation

Clinic students David Harrington and Faith Van Horn also spoke to the Penn State College Democrats student organization leading up to oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas. Like their April 18 presentation before the State College Borough Council, they provided an overview of current immigration law and policy and outlined the issues at stake in the case. 

April 11, 2016

 


UMC Presentation

Immigration Enforcement and the Impact on Communities and Families

This is a compilation of the materials used for a presentation at the University Mennonite Church Titled "Immigration Enforcement & the Impact on Communities and Families".

 April 2015

 


Take-Away Materials from CLE: "DACA & DAPA: What You Need to Know"

This is a compilation of the materials provided to those who attended the CLE at Centre County Bar Association, titled: "DACA and DAPA: What You Need to Know." It includes the event PowerPoint presentation, as well as the various included handouts. 

 April 13, 2015

 


Memo and Template for Engaging the U.S. Attorney and Public Defender about Criminal Bars to DAPA

This is a sample letter intended for those who seek to contact their U.S. District Attorney’s and/or Federal Public Defender’s Offices to discuss policy options for exercising prosecutorial discretion in illegal reentry cases. It is a tool for those seeking to initiate a conversation with said actors for possible changes in the offices’ policies. 

​March 23, 2015

 

 


Takeaway Materials from the Panel Discussion about the June 2014 Immigration Raid in State College, PA

This is a compilation of all the materials provided to the event attendees, as well as the flier used to advertise the event. The materials include: a program pamphlet, a postcard with a personal account of a noncitizen living in State College (in both English and Spanish), an immigration myths-and-facts brochure, slides from Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia’s presentation during the panel discussion, and the event flier. ​

November 18, 2014

 


Community Workshop: Shining the Light on Violence Against Immigrant Women

View the powerpoint presentation for the April 11 CCWRC-Penn State Law Community Workshop on Violence Against Immigrant Women.

Press Release

April 11, 2013

 

 


Flyer, Powerpoint and Handout for March 21 PIRC-Penn State Law DACA Community Workshop

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

The Center for Immigrants' Rights teamed up with PIRC and present ed information about a new immigration program that can help young immigrants without legal status.

Press Release

March 21, 2013

 

 


Practitioner Tools

Practitioner's Toolkit on Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanet 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. 

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

May 16, 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 Release 

August 21, 2014


Toolkit for Withholding-Only Proceedings

Practice guide from Penn State Law's Center for Immigrants' Rights and the Pennsylvania Immigrant Resource Center (PIRC) for attorneys representing noncitizens in withholding-only proceedings.

Press Release

August 1, 2014


Notices to Appear: Legal Challenges and Strategies

Practice advisory for attorneys representing non-citizens 1) who are likely to be issued NTAs, 2) who have been issued NTAs that have not been filed with the immigration court, or 3) who have been issued NTAs that have been filed. Read the joint statement from American Immigration Council, ABA Commission on Immigration and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights on the practice advisory, Notices to Appear: Legal Challenges and Strategies.

Press Release

June 30, 2014


Best Practices for Conducting Community Workshops on DACA

This best practices guide provides an overview of our experiences in planning and conducting a community legal education workshop around DACA. While our experience hails from organizing a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) workshop, the best practices we have discerned from our experiences translate to community education workshops generally. This guide contains feedback from immigration clinics and advocates from around the country and includes our own reflections on planning and conducting community education workshops. This guide is limited to community education workshops and does not purport to offer guidance on conducting pro se legal clinics.

April 2013

 


Frequently Asked Questions on Administrative Processing

Administrative processing, also known as Security Advisory Opinion (SAO), is the time period during which visa applications undergo additional review outside of the “normal” visa processing times. Administrative processing takes place after the visa interview. When an individual case has been tagged in a database, the Department of State, at the request of the consular post, may initiate administrative processing.​

Freedom of Information Act response from the U.S. Department of State
July 6, 2017

Press Release

April 10, 2014

 


3rd Cir. Immigration Blog

A law blog on select not precedential and precedential Third Circuit immigration decisions for immigration practitioners and advocates.

Press Release

April 8, 2014

 


Private Bills & Deferred Action Toolkit

Duane Morris LLP
Maggio + Kattar


The purpose of this toolkit is to provide an instrument to aid practitioners in producing compelling arguments for extraordinary relief on behalf of their clients, while also appealing to Congress to address the human dimensions of the immigration laws. This toolkit delves into two forms of relief: private bills and deferred action. The goal of this toolkit is to provide concise and helpful information for practitioners representing clients’ whose last possible options for relief are deferred action or private bills. Both forms of relief are tricky and difficult, at best. This toolkit includes background information on deferred action and private bills, best practices, sources of law, case summaries, and other resources, to aid individuals in their pursuit of relief.

Press Release

June 7, 2011


Practitioner's Toolkit on Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

This toolkit is a compilation of information about INA §240A(a), or LPR Cancellation of Removal. The toolkit is intended to serve as a resource for immigration attorneys representing LPR clients facing removal from the United States. In addition to describing the LPR cancellation statute, the toolkit also provides information about aggravated felonies, the discretionary component of cancellation, individuals who are ineligible for LPR cancellation, options available to those who are ineligible for LPR cancellation, and an analysis of steps to take in order to apply for LPR cancellation.

Press Release

March 5, 2010