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Cases and Projects: 2020-2021

PARS EQUALITY CENTER AND KHANBABAI IMMIGRATION LAW

The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic (CIRC) will assist with preparing fact sheets and trainings to assist Afghans seeking to evacuate or arriving in the United States. In Fall 2021, CIRC helped to prepare fact sheets on asylum, humanitarian parole, financial sponsorship, and legal pathways for Afghan students and scholars.

PARS Equality Center’s mission is to catalyze social, civic, and economic integration of immigrants from Persian-speaking and other countries into American society. Pars Equality Center provides legal services to low-income immigrant communities and has been at the forefront of responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Khanbabai Immigration Law offers a full range of immigration services assisting clients with obtaining green cards, employment-based visas, asylum petitions, citizenship applications, adoptions, student visas, as well as other immigration matters. Mahsa Khanbabai serves as the co-chair of the Afghan Taskforce for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Learning Goals:

Communication and collaboration, legal research and analysis, and empathy


RAPID RESPONSE AND COMMUNITY LEGAL EDUCATION

Since the 2016 presidential election, students in the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC) have worked to respond to emerging immigration policy changes through fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and town halls. The resources produced by the clinic have served as a clearinghouse for the community and nationally and with a goal of sharing information that is accurate and accessible.  For the Academic Year 2021-22, students at CIRC will continue to engage in rapid response to emerging immigration issues through written work products and community forums.

Learning Goals:

Legal research and analysis, multidimensional lawyering, public speaking, empathy, professional judgment, problem-solving, and time management.


COLLABORATION WITH THE STATE COLLEGE MUNICIPALITY

The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic (CIRC) will continue its collaboration with local government officials in an effort to inform the community and help shape local policy regarding immigration after the presidential election.

Previously, the Clinic consulted with the Borough of State College and the State College Police Department to craft a revised policy on anti-bias-based policing and immigration, announced by Borough Manager Thomas J. Fountaine II and Police Department Chief John Gardner in 2017. The policy encourages noncitizens to utilize police services and states that, as a general practice, the State College Police do not ask or collect information about immigration status. Students at the Clinic have also provided training on the new policy and the role of law enforcement in assisting victims of crimes and trafficking. The policy reflects the official borough resolution passed last year to make State College an inclusive and welcoming place for immigrants and local residents regardless of their immigration status. The resolution was written in collaboration with Penn State Law professor and Immigrants’ Rights Clinic Director Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia.

CIRC has been a member of Welcoming America since 2016. Each year, Welcoming America sponsors Welcoming Week, a series of events by members to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming immigrants. Since 2018, CIRC and the State College Municipality have partnered in delivering an event during Welcoming Week. In Fall 2021, they hosted a Naturalization Workshop and Celebration.

Learning Goals:

Legal research and analysis, multidimensional lawyering, public speaking, empathy, professional judgment, problem-solving, leadership, and collaboration.


THIRD CIRCUIT BLOG WITH PENNSYLVANIA IMMIGRATION RESOURCE CENTER (PIRC)

The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic (CIRC) will continue to update the Third Circuit Blog. The Blog was created in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC). The Blog consists of impartial summaries of precedential and select non-precedential Third Circuit immigration opinions relating to immigration relief from removal and detention.

Learning Goals:

Legal research and analysis, professional judgment, communication, and multidimensional lawyering.