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 President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. 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. The Clinic has also conducted group rights presentations for immigration detainees held at the Clinton County Jail. The Clinic recently joined 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.