With Francisco I. Pedraza. 2017. "Courted and Deported: The Salience of Immigration Issues and Avoidance of Police, Health Care, and Education Services among Latinos." Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies. 

To what extent does the salience of immigration as a political issue deter Latinos from using police, health care, and education services?  Past and present efforts to restrict access to various public services on the basis of nativity and citizenship status often conflate these eligibility criteria with ethnicity, and create a bureaucratic environment and public sentiment that is permissive of racial profiling. This concern is central to critiques of California’s Proposition 187 and subsequent copy-cat legislation, as well as plaintiff’s arguments in more historical case law like Plyer v. Doe, which established that enrollment in K-12 public education could not be prohibited on the basis of citizenship status.  We argue that one consequence of restrictive immigrant policies is that they psychologically condition Latinos to navigate institutional relationships in their daily lives in such a way as to minimize risk to themselves, their families, and members of their social networks.  We claim further that extent to which people exercise caution in how they interface with public services depends on an individual’s personal vulnerability to immigrant policing, which is determined, at least in part, by factors like citizenship status, English language proficiency, and gender. Using a population-based survey experiment, we examine the extent to which simply mentioning immigrant-related concerns changes the willingness of Latinos to interface with police, health care providers, and educators. We find evidence that mere exposure to an “immigration issues” cue is associated with higher proportion of Latinos who shy away from using public services, and this effect is generally more pronounced with respect to police than doctors or teacher, and the deterrence is greatest among women and non-citizens of unknown status.

Shorter Publications

Forthcoming. "Ruben Salazr." In Jessica Lavariega Monforti (ed.) Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders

Forthcoming. "Raul Ruiz." In Jessica Lavariega Monforti (ed.) Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders

Forthcoming. With Stephanie L. DeMora. "Latinos and the 2016 Election." In Jessica Lavariega Monforti (ed.) Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders



2012. "Race Perceptions Amongst Millennials: Willful Ignorance of a Generation?" The McNair Journal of Multidisciplinary Research.

This research examines how racial equality and racial interactions are perceived by the Millennial Generation, those born after the year 1982. I critically evaluate the legitimacy of the colorblind theory as it applies to this new cohort. The colorblind theory, which states that we live in racially equal society where racism is best resolved by not talking of the issue as discussion of the problem would promote further racism, directly juxtaposes colorism, a theory that emphasizes that discrimination is based on the shade of skin color. This study will analyze responses of the interviewed and their skin color for any possible correlation between the perceived racism and the shade of skin color. The research tests the validity of these contrasting theories by conducting qualitative in-depth interviews with Millennials in Los Angeles and Chicago. The research will be complemented by field observation.


Social Justice through Social Constructs: Confronting Racial Identities and Privileges (Unpublished)

This research investigates the experience of intergroup dialogue pedagogy on class participants in a small, liberal arts college class on race and ethnicity. Experiences in such a course are characterized by increasing awareness of personal experiences with racial privilege or oppression, by bridging understanding between agent and target racial identity groups, and by instilling in participants a long-term commitment to social justice. Based on multiple semi-structured interviews with eight of the sixteen class participants (equally represented from target and agent identities), along with samples of their journals and in-class activities, I find that dialogue pedagogy increased awareness of multiple, intersecting social identities among both white students and students of color. However, white students were perceived by their counterparts of color to have taken more limited risks in engaging in the dialogue, which unintentionally reproduced the relationships of privilege and oppression that were the subject of the course.