Current Projects

Evaluating the Impacts of the Tenure and Termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program on Immigrant Young Adults, 2012-2020
Undocumented immigrant youth experience a range of disadvantages linked to their legal precariousness, leading to substantial inequality. This study asks: Do programs that regularize immigrant legal status reduce inequality among immigrant youth and between immigrants and non-immigrants? Alternatively, what happens when rights-granting programs are revoked? The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented in 2012, granted some undocumented youth temporary relief from deportation, along with work authorization and other benefits. In September 2017, a gradual phase-out of the program was announced. DACA’s tenure and subsequent rescinding provide an important opportunity to understand the links between changes to legal status and inequality among immigrant youth.

This study draws on multiple sources of data including population survey data as well as data from the DACA Longitudinal Study, an original longitudinal survey and in-depth interview study of DACA recipients and undocumented non-recipients in California that I direct.

The findings from this study inform federal immigration policy discussions, as well as state and local policies seeking to reduce inequality based on immigration status. Papers from this project include:

Immigration Detention and the Intersections of Immigration and Criminal Law

While an established literature has documented the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, we know far less about immigration detention. This project uses multiple sources of data to investigate immigration detention and enforcement in the United States.

Several of the papers are based on an extensive data collection project involving 1) in-person surveys with nearly 600 detained people, 2) longitudinal surveys/interviews with individuals who were released from detention on bond, and 3) 62 interviews with children and spouses of detained individuals.

I also use administrative data from DHS, acquired through FOIA requests, to further examine US immigration law enforcement. Publications from this project include:

Young and Undocumented: The Impacts of Immigration Status on the Incorporation of Immigrant Youth

This project analyzes some of the challenges faced by undocumented immigrant young adults, how these challenges vary across groups of undocumented young people, and how undocumented young people resist exclusion and make claims for their rights.  The project relies on survey data, in-depth interviews, and content analysis. Publications from this study include:

Legally Vulnerable Workers Project
A series of papers use survey data representative of 1.64 million low-wage workers in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York to explore the labor market experiences of legally vulnerable individuals (e.g. noncitizens, individuals with a criminal record, etc.). Papers from this study include:


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