Research Projects

I am interested in the experiences of immigrant youth in the US education system. A couple of my ongoing projects about this include:

A working paper titled: Tapestry of transitions: Case study of newcomer students in an urban high school.

Abstract: A growing body of work shows how older recently arrived migrant youth have reduced access to college preparatory coursework, more family responsibilities, as well as less chances of graduating high school. Given this backdrop, how school staff conceptualize a successful student transition to the U.S. can help advance our understanding about the receiving context of youth. This study explores the role of an English Language Department within a school to support migrant youth transitions. Using school staff interviews as well as student demographic surveys, this case study examines migrant youth transitions into a California urban high school and reports demographics of a subset of students as well as their use of school-based supports within the high school’s English Language Department. I interviewed school staff (n = 8) and surveyed recently arrived students (n = 29) to provide context about the students the program served.

A working paper titled: Undocumented and anxious: The duality of family in the mental health of Latino college students with and without temporary relief (with Yuliana Garcia).

Abstract: We use the UndocuScholars data set to combine two main bodies of literature on immigrant families. The illegality literature highlights the legal significance of being undocumented and what it means for the individual in relation to the state.  Literature about the Latino family highlight resilience. As of yet, this literature is seldom combined with the literature on pre-carity and illegality. Undocumented college students present an opportunity to study the potential duality in immigrant families faced with traversing a racialized, and precarious immigrant status. By duality, I am referring to the coexistence between the negative consequences of an undocumented status and the positive effects of resilience in even a fraught immigration regime.

I am also interested in the experiences of middle and older aged immigrants in the United States. A couple of my ongoing projects on this include:

Work in progress: What does citizenship have to do with it? Income differentials in middle and older age

Abstract: I use the Survey of Income and Program Participation (waves 1996-2008) to explore how the lack of citizenship may be an increasingly unavoidable component of inequality. Although both the work on immigration and cumulative advantage/disadvantage suggest that historically (at the personal and societal level) and institutionally imposed barriers shape difference, the two perspectives are in silos with each other. Learning about older age inequality among immigrants is important not only for practical matters, but for theoretical ones, too. Vilma Ortiz and Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez are my mentors on this project.

Work in progress: Examining the extent of family separation using the Mexican Family Life Survey

Abstract: Using the Mexican Family Life Survey, I examine the extent of family separation experienced by Mexican adults. Although migration scholars have an understanding of the impact of documented and undocumented Mexican migration on the US population, the effect of recent US migration policy changes on the lives of families in Mexico is less studied. When Mexican individuals migrate to the US, they become separated from family members. I aim to understand the duration that adults in Mexico (who are left behind) are likely to spend separated from a family member who migrated to the US. An understanding of the length of family separation felt by individuals left behind in Mexico and its long-term consequences elucidates the social costs of increased border enforcement in the US. Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez is my mentor for this project.