Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
twitter facebook linkedin Instagram Google+ webmail

Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic

Fall 2017 group




Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic is directed by Professor and immigration expert​ Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia. At the Clinic, 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), the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), and Project South, among others. 

Students at the Clinic also engage in community outreach and education on immigration topics such as immigration remedies for victims of crimes and Presidential executive actions on immigration, and in this capacity has worked closely with the Borough of State College and local organizations on emerging immigration topics. The Clinic 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. ​​Following the Presidential election 2016, the Clinic has reached more than 500 individuals and families and served as a clearinghouse for the community and nationally on changing immigration law and policy.​ The Clinic 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.

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.

New from the Center:

ALERT (Updated 9/25/17): On September 24, the president issued a proclamation that indefinitely blocks the entry for certain individuals from eight countries: Iran, Libya, Chad, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela, and Yemen (Sudan has been dropped).

UPDATE (11/15/17): One day before the full extent of Travel Ban 3.0 was to go into effect, a Hawaii court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the most controversial section of the  ban, stating in part “EO-3 suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor; it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The court also found that the Ban discriminates on the basis of nationality and is therefore in violation of 202(a) and the “founding principles of this Nation.” On October 20, 2017, the court extended the TRO to a Preliminary Injunction, blocking most of the travel restrictions from taking effect pending further court orders. The government appealed the case. On November 13, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals responded to the government’s emergency stay motion and in doing so reinstated Travel Ban 3.0 for nationals from the six majority Muslim countries (Libya, Chad, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Iran) who lack a close family relationship with a person or entity in the United States. This ruling is temporary. Oral arguments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are scheduled for December 6, 2017, after which a final ruling will be made. 

UPDATE (10/18/17): A second court in Maryland issued a preliminary injunction blocking most of Section 2 from going forward.

Travel Ban 3.0: Litigation Update, Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic, October 18, 2017.

ALERT: On September 5, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The decision affects nearly 800,000 current and potential program beneficiaries. More detailed information and answers to some of the most pressing questions about the decision can be found in the following video, “DACA Announcement: What We Know (Facebook Live),” and the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic website. 

Announcement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: What We Know
Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights, September 5, 2017.

DHS Press Release, September 5, 2017.

More information can be found here.

Student Clinic Application

Contact Us: