I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California-San Diego. I am also affiliated with UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and Center for US-Mexican Studies. My primary areas of research are political sociology, gender, and migration between Mexico and the United States.
In my current book project, tentatively titled Politics of the Policed: The Transnational Struggles of Mexican Migrants in an Age of Illegality, I examine how US immigration enforcement shapes the political attitudes and actions of undocumented Mexican migrant communities. The book draws on a two-year, multi-sited ethnography of two groups of migrants from Oaxaca, Mexico to Southern California. I trace how migrants’ experiences of policing in restrictive and sanctuary cities condition their political integration in the United States, the character of their transnational engagement, and the reactions of those remaining in their hometowns. I also show that in both Mexico and the United States, transnational communities strategically reconfigure gender relations as a means to navigate US “illegality.”
Some of my previous work examines North-South power dynamics in transnational social movements and NGOs. I am also co-author of a feminist theory handbook that frames gender in terms of global relations of power.
My research is published in journals like World Development, Gender & Society, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and has won awards from LASA, the SSSP and five sections of the American Sociological Association. I am currently a fellow of the UCSD Hellman Fund and Faculty Career Development Programs, and a past fellow of ACLS/Mellon, the National Science Foundation, Jacob K. Javits, UC-MEXUS, UC Berkeley, and the Mellon Foundation.