About The Program
Since its founding in 2006, students have represented individuals seeking asylum and other forms of immigration relief from across the globe and have worked alongside and on behalf of international human rights and community-based organizations before regional and international human rights mechanisms on a range of rights-based issues, particularly as they relate to migrants and internally-displaced persons.
Prof. Paoletti explains that DACA case’s central issue is the extent of executive authority
On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (known as DACA), temporarily protecting some 700,000 people who arrived in the country as young undocumented, immigrants.
Shortly after the decision came out, Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, said on Twitter: “The Supreme Court held today that President Obama’s DACA program is clearly illegal.”
That Statement is false.
Transnational Legal Clinic students ‘learn fast and work hard in a broken system’
Passing through the gate of the double-barbed-wire fence surrounding the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, Meroua Zouai L’20 thought about the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration policies and the people who bore the brunt of their cruelty — her clients. As a student in the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Transnational Legal Clinic, she had been granted a glimpse inside the U.S.’s punitive immigration system, and she was deeply frustrated with what she saw.
Between a legal apparatus that seemed “designed to retraumatize” her clients, the “unconscionable” conditions in which they were “caged” while awaiting trial, and the sheer intensity of the “fear and despair on their faces,” Zouai sometimes felt paralyzed by the scale of the injustice facing people seeking asylum in the U.S.
Students in the Clinic have successfully represented clients from countries as diverse as China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, Mali, Guinea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Working in teams of two and under faculty supervision, students are responsible for all aspects of client representation, including interviewing, legal and factual research and analysis, case theory and narrative theory development, affidavit drafting, brief writing, negotiation, and preparation of fact and expert witnesses. Students then serve as lead counsel during the trial, delivering opening and closing arguments, and conducting all direct and cross-examinations of their client and other witnesses.
The Transnational Legal Clinic does not have an open intake process. Persons seeking legal representation for immigration matters are recommended to contact one of the local immigration legal services providers or the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Please also note, the Transnational Legal Clinic does not represent individuals in U.S. state or federal courts.
Transnational Legal Clinic
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104