On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump followed through on a vile campaign promise, and issued his first Muslim ban, creating chaos and protest around the nation’s airports. Four years later, President-elect Joe Biden pledged to repeal the Muslim ban on his first day in office, a promise that was confirmed in a memo on Saturday by his chief of staff.

The latest version of the Muslim ban was issued as a Proclamation and in its current form, excludes certain nationals from thirteen countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Venezuela. The…


DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a policy announced in 2012 and over the last eight years has enabled more than 800,000 people who entered the United States before the age of 16, are in school or graduated, and meet other requirements to receive a type of prosecutorial discretion called “deferred action” and work authorization. The Trump administration attempted to end DACA beginning in 2017, but litigation in federal courts, including the Supreme Court, allowed DACA to survive for some. On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the way DACA ended was unlawful, and signaled that…


On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a long awaited decision in DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The decision was authored by Chief Justice Roberts in a 5–4 opinion holding that DACA is reviewable by the Court. On the merits, the Court held that the agency’s (Department of Homeland Security) decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” under administrative law.

While the Court upheld DACA on a narrow issue of administrative law, the human impact of this decision is significant and means that the DACA policy, implemented 8 years ago under the Obama administration, will continue…


January 27, 2020 marks the three-year anniversary of the “travel” or “Muslim” ban, enacted first as an executive order and most recently as a presidential proclamation. There were three different versions of the ban, but the latest one, operational since December 4, 2017, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 by a 5–4 decision. The human impact has been overwhelming, as thousands of would be green card holders, students, and temporary visa holders have been banned from the United States for no other reason than nationality or religion.

In my individual capacity or in connection with a law…


As you plan for your trip home for the holidays, why not order the audio version of my latest book, Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump,from NYU Press? Spend some of that travel time learning about the law behind the immigration headlines. Through interviews with key stakeholders and my own policy and legal analysis, Banned gets into the meat and bones of the immigration changes President Trump made his first days in office — when many Americans didn’t even know what was happening.

Despite what we are hearing from the current administration, the federal government has the tools…


On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments in the case of DACA, or more specifically “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” The arguments centered on the termination of DACA, not on the legality of DACA itself (though in several ways the two questions are intertwined).

Reading into oral arguments is like reading through tea leaves, but we all tasted something. Take this quicktake as but one taste.

First, a good portion of both the questions and the answers wandered. The first distraction began with a discussion of a case unrelated to DACA known…


Read an amicus brief on DACA led by Steptoe Johnson in collaboration with Dean Kevin Johnson (UC Davis School of Law), Professor Michael A. Olivas (University of Houston Law Center), and Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia (Penn State Law-University Park) filed with the Supreme Court today (10/4) on behalf of 124 immigration law scholars.

Link to the full brief: https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/18/18-587/118217/20191004160236688_18-587%2018-588%20and%2018-589%20bsac%20IMMIGRATION%20LAW%20SCHOLARS.pdf

Argument in Brief:

‘Amici are 124 scholars of immigration law who have testified, lectured, researched, written, and advocated at length on immigration issues, including the principal subject of this appeal: The power of the Executive Branch to craft and deploy immigration-related…


PDF Link: https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/LawProfessorLetterNOBANActFinal.pdf

March 29, 2019

Chairman Lindsey Graham
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Chairman Jerold Nadler
Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
2132 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Ranking Member Doug Collins
Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
1504 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Feinstein, Chairman Nadler, and Ranking Member Collins:

As immigration law teachers…


The 2016 election is consequential and has instilled great concern in immigrant communities. Following Inauguration Day, President Donald Trump signed several executive orders and policies on immigration, some of which have been followed by implementation guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ). Below are five points to educate the community about immigration law and policy.

POINT ONE: The main statutory framework for immigration law remains the same today. Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act (The Act) in 1952 and this remains the framework for immigration law. The Act defines categories for lawful admission…


This post is dedicated to the late Juan Osuna, former director of Executive of Immigration Review. He was a strong proponent of reducing the number of Notices to Appear filed with immigration court and understood the importance of discretion at this stage of the immigration enforcement process.

By contrast and in memoranda dated June 28, 2018, United Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS (a hub of the Department of Homeland Security) issue two significant policies on the issuance of NTAs. This post provides some background on the NTA and highlights from the two new policy documents issued by USCIS.

NTAs…

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Law professor @PennStateLaw, writes on immigration, diversity & discretion; author of Beyond Deportation and Banned @NYUpress www.beyonddeportation.com

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