Current Projects

Young and Undocumented: The Impacts of Immigration Status on the Incorporation of Immigrant Youth
This project investigates a critical paradox of contemporary U.S. immigration policy. On one hand, undocumented immigrants are legally excludable from the state, blocked from formal economic integration and healthcare access, and socially stigmatized. On the other hand, they are eligible for certain rights and institutional access, including K-12 education for undocumented children and other legal rights such as labor law protections. How do undocumented young adults experience this incomplete inclusion and what does it mean for their integration? What impacts does legal status have on their educational outcomes and social network formation? What tactics do they employ as they struggle for more formal inclusion?

Analyzing survey data, semi-structured interviews, and secondary data sources, I explore the consequences of incomplete inclusion for the lived experiences of undocumented youth, as well as the ways in which some undocumented youth successfully struggle for more formal inclusion. Ultimately, I argue that existing assimilation theories do not fully account for the experience of legal status. I conclude that the incorporation of undocumented young adults remains incomplete, in ways that are enforced explicitly by laws and experienced by undocumented youth both directly and implicitly within schools and social networks.

Assessing the Educational and Economic Trajectories, Civic Engagement, and Health Status of DACA Applicants
This original survey and in-depth interview project analyzes the experiences of over 500 undocumented immigrants in Southern California before and after receiving deferred action (and subsequent work authorization) through the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In collaboration with Dream Team Los Angeles.

Collateral Consequences of Crimmigration: Household and Community Impacts of Long-Term Immigration Detention
This study examines the impacts of immigration detention on the loved ones (spouses / partners and children) of former and currently detained immigrants.

Immigrant Detention Study
The first of its kind, this original longitudinal study investigates the impacts of immigration detention and release on the socioeconomic status and well-being of detainees and their families.

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