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Population Research Institute

I collaborated with the Clinic to produce informative materials on the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on immigrants and their families in PA. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the work produced by the students, their passionate and optimistic attitude about the project, and the professionalism and level of attention to detail throughout the project. I am sure the outputs will make an important impact in the immigrant community as PA copes with the COVID crisis.

Kathleen Sexsmith, The Penn State Center Philadelphia, Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC), and faculty in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education at Penn State, 2020

University Police and Public Safety

Working with the CIRC has been very beneficial to our department. The members are dedicated and very knowledgeable.  The professionalism of the students and their desire to make a meaningful product is second to none.  The members of the group display professionalism and willingness to create a great program/presentation. Their knowledge and passion are second to none.

Matt Cover, Lieutenant, 2020

State College Borough — Community Engagement Office

The Community Engagement Office continues to utilize the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic when communicating events in the Borough of State College. The relationship of local government and the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic is so critical to the sustainability of the Borough of State College and surrounding communities.

Kevin D. Kassab & Natalie Vercillo, Community Engagement Manager, 2020

Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Our experience with everyone at the clinic, to a person, has been amazing. Feeling very supported and grateful for a forged partnership that felt equitable. The students at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic are truly professional, intelligent, prepared, personable and are very clearly being prepared to be excellent law professionals.

Amy Vashaw, Director, 2020

Borough of State College

The Borough of State College and the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic have worked together and collaborated to protect and defend the rights of all of our residents.  The Clinic has provided significant assistant, guidance and advice to the Borough in crafting policies and procedures to protect and defend the rights of our residents and ensure that State College is a Welcoming Community.  One of the critical success factors from the Borough’s strategic plan is that State College is a Welcoming and Engaged Community.  The Clinic is a critical partner in the Borough’s continuing work to ensure that all are welcome here.

Tom Fontaine, Borough Manager, 2020

Castaneda Planzer LLC

I had the pleasure of working with the Center [for Immigrants’ Rights] in providing pro bono representation to an individual and her son. Our collaboration allowed myself the unique opportunity to take a case pro bono where I otherwise might not have been able to.  The students took their responsibility serious[ly] and were extremely dedicated.  I look forward to watching them continue to change the world. 

Jacqueline Castaneda Guinan, Attorney, 2019

University Police & Public Safety

The knowledge and professionalism the Clinic provides to the Penn State community is a true testament to the dedication, compassion, and desire to not only educate and provide useful tools but also to foster an environment for engagement and equality to our students and staff.  

Stephanie Delaney, Lieutenant, Patrol, 2019

Thrive International Programs, Inc.

Thank you to the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic for your passion and hard work to provide resources to serve immigrants directly and to provide relevant information to the community about immigration. It has been our pleasure and privilege to collaborate with you.

Jody Lantz, Executive Director & Intermediate ESL Instructor, 2019

University Police & Public Safety

The collaboration and support the Center [for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic] has provided our staff and their willingness to partner to assure that we are able to provide our community with the best resources and support available has really been a rewarding experience.

Stephanie Delaney, Lieutenant, Patrol, 2019

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

The Center for Immigrants Rights participated in the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration’s “Detention Standards Implementation Initiative” by visiting the Clinton County Jail which houses immigration detainees for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Following their visit the Center produced a report on parts of the National Detention Standards which were not being properly implemented in the facility and that report will serve as a model for future delegations visiting other detention centers. I found that the students who participated in our program demonstrated skills in writing and research, and were professional and poised than many of the lawyers I hired for my Legal Services office. I attribute this superior legal preparation to the strengths of the individual law students, and the supervision provided by Professors Wadhia. I would strongly recommend the Center as a valuable resource to any client or group seeking representation or a partner in pursuing justice.

Robert Lang, Staff Attorney, 2012

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

PIRC/I was very impressed by the talent, hard work and enthusiasm of the students involved in our collaborative DACA project. We look forward to more opportunities to work with The Center for Immigrants’ Rights in the future.

Mary Weaver, Executive Director, 2013

Centre County Women’s Resource Center — Civil Legal Representation Project

The Center for Immigrants’ Rights provides a very valuable resource for those affected by Immigration issues.  Without them, our office would not be as effective in helping victims of domestic violence.

Yvette Wilson, Director, 2014

Centre County Women's Resource Center’s Civil Legal Representation Project

We are deeply grateful for the hard work of the Center and its' students. Their work has contributed substantially to our efforts to increase our capacity to better meet the needs of immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking. The Center’s students were engaged and committed to their work, and the Center Director provided the students with exceptional guidance and leadership for their work. The students were professional in meeting their deadlines, communicating effectively by email between meetings, planning and managing client meetings and delivering high quality work product. The students were receptive to client feedback and handled themselves in a professional manner throughout the process. The Center Director provided important input to the project at all stages, and was consistent about checking in to ensure that we were satisfied with the progress of the project. I am delighted that the law school is able to provide this important client-focused, practical experience to students and believe the program is being managed in a highly effective manner.

Justine Andronici, Director, 2012

American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center​​

Professor Wadhia and her two students — Beth Boul and Heather Hoechst — worked successfully with the Legal Action Center (LAC) staff to achieve our agreed upon goals. They created realistic timeframes to complete different tasks related to their final project — a comprehensive memorandum summarizing restrictions on attorney representation before immigration agencies — and kept the LAC up to speed on their accomplishments. Beth and Heather were skilled communicators, setting agendas for our weekly phone calls and taking and distributing notes summarizing each call. They carefully analyzed the data provided through a questionnaire about access to counsel in various immigration agency settings, and created a comprehensive and cohesive report summarizing their findings. They not only accomplished these agreed upon goals, but rose to the occasion each time they met new and unexpected challenges throughout the course of the semester.

Emily Creighton, Staff Attorney, 2011

Muslim Advocates

The Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic is led by Professor Wadhia, whose passion for immigration work and social justice extends to her students. The result is a clinic that is enthusiastic about collaborating with other groups on matters that affect some of our most vulnerable communities.

Juvaria Khan, Staff Attorney, 2017

Center For American Progress

The students at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic are thoughtful problem solvers who have a deep commitment to quality work.

Nicole Svajlenka, Senior Policy Analyst, 2017

State College Police Department

As Chief of Police, I fully understand the value and the importance of collaboration and relationship building with all our community partners.  The work the State College Police Department and the Center for Immigrants Rights Clinic staff accomplished on immigration issues during the last few years, is the direct result of such a collective effort that benefits our community. 

John F. Gardner, Chief of Police, 2019

On behalf of the State College Police Department, I want to personally thank Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and her law students from the Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic. The Center played a vital role in aiding the police department with the development and implementation of a police policy that directly addresses the issue of immigration. The policy not only reflects the practices of the police department, but also addresses the expectations of the State College community.’

John F. Gardner, Chief of Police, 2017

The Center for Education and Civil Rights

The Center for Education and Civil Rights has implemented two successful events in partnership with Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Both of these events were catered towards K-12 educators, teachers, counselors, and families in the State College Area School District. Through these programs, we hoped to assist the community in better supporting children of immigrant families who are in their care. The events were exceedingly timely and crucial for this target population, who are serving some of our most vulnerable children today. Given this weight of our collaborative events, it was impressive how well-prepared the clinic was ahead of time. Their prompt communication and team-oriented approach eased any anxiety that would have otherwise naturally stirred up in the planning process. We also found the clinic students, who were an integral part of the partnership, to be responsible, engaged, and well-versed in the content at hand.

Erica Frankenberg, Director, 2017

Constitution Day Celebration

The Center for Immigrant Rights Clinic is an important and much needed group that provides accurate information on immigrants, their families, and their valuable role in American society today. American voters need to hear the accurate facts, not the falsehoods and discriminary myths, about immigrants, who have always played a key role in building our country. Immigrants make American strong.

Vicki Fong, 2017

Muslim Advocates

“The Center was a vital partner in Muslim Advocates’ efforts to respond to President Trump’s discriminatory Muslim Ban Executive Order. The Center’s students provided thoughtful and nuanced legal analysis (and often with very little notice and turn-around time). It was a true pleasure to work with the Center, and we look forward to future collaboration.” 

Johnathan Smith, Legal Director, Muslim Advocates

U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

I gained much useful information from the Center, the Director and the students. We would all benefit from a continuing dialogue and exchange of information.

Peter J. Smith, U.S. Attorney, 2016

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

PIRC has increased its capacity to refer detained removal cases for pro bono representation, with the publication of the Center for Immigrants’ Right’s updated LPR Cancellation toolkit. Mentoring pro bono cases is an important PIRC staff responsibility, but it does require significant attorney time. Having an in-house resource that covers just about every imaginable aspect of a 240A(a) case will enable us to assign more pro bono cases to attorneys new to the Immigration Court. It will also be a valuable training tool for our own staff.

Matthew Lamberti, Managing Attorney, 2016

Law Office of Sharon Barney

As a local immigration attorney, I believe that the Center’s existence and work on behalf of immigrants is an invaluable resource to the community. The Center and its students distribute important information that immigrants, practitioners, service providers, and concerned citizens need to know in the ever-evolving world of immigration law and policy.

Under Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia’s expert guidance, clinical law students are provided with an unmatched opportunity to receive in-depth practical knowledge in the world of immigration law. Beyond caselaw, statutes, and regulatory interpretation, students also receive key practice skills involving client interviewing, ethical issues, and case management.

Sharon Barney Esq., Local Attorney, 2015  

Borough of State College

From beginning to end, collaborating with the Center for Immigrants’ Rights was a rare and helpful experience which provided me regular briefings on one of the more important issues facing our country (and local government!). 

I particularly appreciated my interaction with both Professor Shoba Wadhia, Director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights; and law students Tulsi Patel and Jose Figueroa who welcomed me with enthusiasm, were enormously helpful and provided an excellent briefing on this complex topic to the State College Borough Council.  I would welcome another opportunity to work together with the Center for Immigrants’ Rights.

Elizabeth Goreham, Mayor, 2015 

University Mennonite Church

The students listened to our hopes and inquiries with care. They were concise and clear in their communication. They were engaging in their presentation and willingly engaged in questions that moved them beyond legal terms as we struggled together with moral and ethical concerns related to the rights of undocumented individuals and families. They knew their material well and communicated it in a helpful way.

Marv Friesen, Pastor, 2015

Global Connections

Steven Soto and Vienna Vasquez ran with an idea that percolated from the Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Immigration, and absolutely hit a home run. They did a great job of listening to the client, soliciting advice and feedback, doing their homework, and collaborating with people within their program and without, to present a top-quality event that met all the requests of their client.  Belying their relative inexperience, Mr. Soto and Ms. Vasquez presented themselves more like seasoned professionals, representing Penn State Law and the Center for Immigrants Rights in great fashion.

Marc H. McCann, Executive Director, 2014

National Guestworker Alliance

Collaborating with The Center for Immigrants’ Rights is an experience you step out of hoping you’ll be able to repeat it in the near future. Most recently Professor Wadhia and her students assisted the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) and one of our members in seeking immigration protections following labor exploitation suffered in the guestworker program.  The experience highlighted the outstanding professionalism and care with which they work, both on the individual and policy level. The NGA and its members are grateful for the Center’s support and the exceptional resources it provides to immigrants and their advocates nationally.

Jan Collatz, Attorney, 2014

American Immigration Council

Working with the Center was a terrific experience.  The students were hardworking, always well-prepared, and completed a well-written, well-researched practice advisory that will be extremely useful to the immigration bar.

Mary Kenney, Senior Attorney, 2014

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with the Center for Immigrants’ Rights on multiple projects that benefit both the legal community and vulnerable immigrants. Their work is exceptional and reflects their sense of purpose in improving the lives of immigrants in our society. 

Mary Weaver, Executive Director, 2014

Maggio+Kattar PC

During the last several years of my practice,  I noticed more and more how my clients and their families suffered from long delays in immigrant visa processing because of what is known as administrative processing.  For a variety of reasons, some cases languish for months and years before a visa is issued.  The government rarely advises on the reasons for the delays and the process is infamous for its lack of transparency.   As a busy practitioner, I have had little time to focus on the bigger picture on this issue.  Professor Wadhia and the students have helped me to do this by creating practice pointers to guide practitioners representing individuals in administrative processing. They have drafted and filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking that the government provide much needed and long buried information on the process.  We hope that the information provided in response to this FOIA will push the government to more fairly and quickly adjudicate visa applications for thousands of individuals around the world.   My colleagues and our clients greatly appreciate the time, energy and commitment that the students and Professor Wadhia have dedicated to this project.   

Anna Gallagher, Shareholder and Head of Immigration Litigation and Global Visas Practice, 2014

Rights Working Group

The Center was an ideal partner for us on this project and we are grateful for the tremendous efforts the students and Professor Wadhia put forth to deliver a product that we intend to rely on to further our advocacy in this area. We were truly impressed with the dedication and commitment of the Center’s students and the enthusiasm they demonstrated for the project. The students conducted excellent research that was highly relevant and useful for supporting the analysis and recommendations this report outlines. Professor Wadhia’s expertise and vision supported the students in shaping a strong report that is accurate, compelling and extremely useful for our advocacy.

Aadika Singh and Jumana Musa, 2012

Kids in Need of Defense

KIND benefited tremendously from our partnership with the Center. The work the Center did on our training manual will contribute greatly to the quality of legal services that are provided to unaccompanied immigrant children.

Wendy Young, Executive Director, 2011

American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

I continue to be impressed by the caliber of work produced by the student attorneys at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights. The students’ enthusiasm and commitment to social justice compliment their sharp legal skills. The advocacy community appreciates your hard work and commitment to immigrants’ rights!

Emily Creighton, Staff Attorney, 2012

Maggio Kattar, LP 

For several years, practitioners in the immigration community have been talking about how helpful it would be to have a resource to guide them in preparing requests for private bills or for deferred action. This resource would have not been possible without the leadership, talent and hard work provided by the Center for Immigrants’ Rights. The students were committed, diligent and professional in carrying out their research and working with the clients in producing the final product. It is always a pleasure to work with Professor Wadhia, a recognized leader in the immigration world, both as an academic and as a former practitioner herself. Thank you so much for working with us to create this long-awaited for resource. 

Anna Gallagher, Shareholder, 2011

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, New York City

Our collaboration with Luisa, Nicole, and Professor Wadhia at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights was a great success and helped measurably advance the work we do on tracking the procedures in place for immigration detainees with final orders of removal, whose detention can be prolonged indefinitely. We easily established a working relationship through which we could rely on the quality and rigor of their work, address shifting needs of the project as they arose, and come away with a final product of tremendous value to our work.

Judy Rabinovitz, Deputy Director, 2010

Tahirih Justice Center 

The Center provided Tahirih with an unparalleled opportunity to access, analyze, and publicize important data illustrating the challenges facing women and girls seeking protection through the US asylum system ... As clients, we were provided with an extremely high level of customer service, and constantly solicited for our feedback on everything from the methodology used to sort data to details about the final work products. We definitely felt like part of the team, and that our satisfaction was a top concern! The student team provided us with timely updates and summaries of meetings, and was quick to address any issues or questions that arose about their work. Prof. Wadhia was extremely responsive to our needs and concerns throughout the entire project. Once an issue was identified, she immediately circled back to the students and made sure it was addressed. As an expert in the field of immigration law, she also provided invaluable suggestions and feedback when determining the direction and desired outcome of the project.

Jeanne Smoot, Public Policy Director, 2010

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

The partnership between the Center for Immigrants' Rights and PIRC — a small non-profit legal service provider — has sustainably increased PIRC’s capacity. In this third semester of collaboration between the Center and PIRC, students at the Center helped PIRC to expand its resources by compiling a practitioner’s toolkit for Cancellation of Removal applications for Lawful Permanent Residents. This injection of additional capacity helped to give PIRC a boost when the organization needed it most — as it was launching a new pro bono initiative. Without the students’ efforts, PIRC would not have been able to devote the time to capture the knowledge and tips from practitioners nationally to write a comprehensive and practical set of materials.

Megan Bremer, Managing Attorney, Pennsylvania Immi2009

American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

Our experience with the Penn State Center for Immigrants’ Rights clinical program was uniformly superlative. We cannot convey enough complements for this truly professional and exceptionally positive program. In addition to giving the students an extremely valuable learning experience, the results of their project will actually improve the lives of thousands of real people. The students, their professor, and Penn State University should be justly proud of their work and of this program.

Nadine Wettstein, Director, 2009

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

The Professor is extremely knowledgeable and well versed in the issues we worked on, and was always very accessible to any questions/concerns ADC had. The students were enthusiastic, and hard working as well. ADC is proud to have collaborated with the Center in producing the NSEERS Report. The Professor and the students provided in-depth and substantive analysis of the complexities surrounding the NSEERS program.

Kareem Shora and Fahed Al-Rawaf, 2009