Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC) is a nationally recognized in-house clinic focused on immigration and directed by its founder Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia.
The CIRC provides law students with hands-on clinical training in immigration law through three pillars: community outreach and education, pro bono legal support, and policy work.
At CIR, students engage in community outreach and education on immigration topics such as immigration remedies for victims of crimes, DACA, the travel ban, and immigration enforcement, and in this capacity has worked closely with the State College municipality and local organizations on emerging immigration topics. The CIRC also provides legal support in individual cases of immigrants challenging deportation (removal) or seeking protection by the Department of Homeland Security and in the courts. Since the Presidential election of 2016, the Clinic has reached hundreds of individuals and families and served as a clearinghouse for the community and nationally on changing immigration law and policy. The CIRC is a member of Welcoming America, a national movement of organizations and municipal governments interested in making their communities more welcoming to immigrants and refugees. In the policy arena, students produce white papers, practitioner toolkits, and primers of national impact for institutional clients based in Washington D.C., and across the nation. Organizational clients have included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Immigration Council (AIC), Human Rights First, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), among others.
Professor Wadhia’s teaching goal is for students to gain the skills required to be effective immigration advocates and attorneys. This requires a combined understanding and appreciation for immigration law, policy, and politics, and the relationships between them. Students have primary responsibility in making case/project-related decisions, reflecting deliberatively on their work, and collaborating with clients to achieve positive results.
2018 marks the 10-year year anniversary of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.
New from the Clinic
Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforcement Departure Fact Sheet, Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic, March 13, 2019.