RSF-Funded Research on Immigration and Immigrant Integration

Since 2016, RSF has collaborated with the Carnegie Corporation of New York to support research that builds on the findings of the 2015 National Academies report on The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, which was funded in part by RSF. To date, the jointly funded special initiative has made 39 grants, funded two issues of our open-access journal, and supported three Summer Institutes in Migration Research Methods for early career scholars. Building on the success of the initiative, RSF has been invited by the Carnegie Corporation to submit a proposal for an additional $500,000 (matched by an equivalent amount from RSF) to extend this collaboration through 2025.

Grantees include economists, political scientists, and sociologists. They have examined topics such as intergenerational mobility, focusing on the role of legal status; naturalization, citizenship voting, and collective ways of achieving representation; social identity and what it means to be American; and the interplay of politics and policy in immigrant integration during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below we present these grant details: authors, titles, grant period, amount, abstracts, and publications and work in progress. Grants are presented in reverse chronological order.

Masha Krupenkin, Boston College. Immigrant Attitudes Toward Racial Inequality (Grant Period: 4/1/2022- 3/31/2024; $ 20,275)
Abstract: Immigrants have more negative attitudes towards Black Americans than do native-born Americans of the same racial/ethnic group. These differences persist even after controlling for income, education, and party identification. Among white, Latino, and Asian immigrants, these differences are larger among citizens than non-citizen immigrants, suggesting that the attitudes are acquired in the US. This project examines the origins and consequences of anti-Black attitudes among foreign-born Americans. I examine potential explanations for immigrants' anti-Black attitudes, and the role that anti-Black attitudes play in candidate choice among immigrants.

Ariela Schachter and Margot Moinester, Washington University, St. Louis. National Study of Fear of Deportation: Wave 2 (Grant Period: 3/1/2022- 2/29/2024; $ 174,500)
Abstract: Immigrants and their families live under a cloud of fear that they or a loved one could suddenly be deported. These fears are widespread and affect wellbeing and immigrant integration. Our project leverages changes to immigration enforcement under the Biden administration to ask: can fear of deportation and its consequences be reduced? Using a nationally-representative, longitudinal survey of first- and second-generation Latinx and Asian adults, we will measure changes in deportation-related fears, experiences with, and perceptions of, the immigration enforcement system, and indicators of wellbeing and integration.

Asad Asad, Stanford University. Precarious Citizenship: How Judges Make Denaturalization Decisions (Grant Period: 12/1/2021-11/30/2023; $50,000)
Abstract: Denaturalization, the process of removing an immigrant’s acquired citizenship, offers a window into the judiciary’s role in federal immigration enforcement. Since the 1990s, different presidential administrations have relied on denaturalization as an enforcement tool. Federal judges oversee this process and, except in the case of jury trials, independently decide whether to revoke immigrants’ citizenship. Yet, little is known about how judges understand their role. This research draws on in-depth interviews with federal judges to examine whether and how they think about denaturalization and what, if anything, they do to enable or constrain the process.

Carolina Valdivia, University of California, Irvine. Family Reunification in the U.S. Post- Deportation (Grant Period: 10/1/2021- 9/30/2023; $38,110)
Abstract: This study will examine the consequences of immigration enforcement for individuals who returned undetected to the U.S. post-deportation and their families. I address these questions: (1) What factors inform their decisions to reunite in the U.S. post-deportation? (2) What challenges and resources do families encounter during reunification? (3) What are the everyday experiences of families who reunite? (4) How do these circumstances impact and are shaped by important aspects of family life, as well as their participation across various social institutions? I will conduct 80 in-depth interviews with members of 40 families where at least one person has returned undetected post-deportation. I will also interview 20 individuals who work with this population (e.g., church and organizational leaders, lawyers, educators).

Matthew Guardino, Providence College, and Jeffrey Pugh, University of Massachusetts. Testing the “Invisibility Bargain”: Media Imagery, Authoritarianism and U.S. Attitudes Toward Immigrant Social Integration and Political Agency (Grant Period: 9/1/2020-8/31/2022; $29,625)
Abstract: This project examines public attitudes about immigrants’ role in host societies, using a survey with an embedded experiment to explore the individual-level and contextual factors that influence native-born U.S. citizens’ expectations for immigrant behavior. Our framework suggests that tolerance for immigration is contingent on perceived economic and other valued contributions, social conformity, and political passivity. Breaking this tacit “invisibility bargain” leads to anti-immigrant backlash. The project extends a pilot study to a larger representative sample to examine how ideological and personality predispositions, intergroup contact and visual cues of immigrant protest shape the invisibility bargain. We hypothesize that conservative identification, authoritarian traits, and signals of outgroup political threat amplify invisibility demands, while contact with immigrants mitigates them.

Amarat Zaatut, Temple University and Stephanie DiPietro, University of Iowa. An Examination of the Integration Experiences of Muslim Refugees in Traditional and Non- Traditional Immigrant Destinations (Grant Period: 7/1/2021- 6/30/2023; $126,225)
Abstract: We will study the ways in which anti-Islamic sentiment, rhetoric, and policies against Muslims, shape the integration and assimilation experiences of Muslim refugees. This study focuses on a traditional and a new immigrant destination, that vary in their level of urbanicity, racial-ethnic heterogeneity, and receptivity to immigrants. Utilizing a comparative research design and with unique access to Muslim refugees, we will explore the social, cultural, and psychological processes underlying their individual and collective identity formation. We will examine how macro-social policies of inclusion/exclusion intersect with local context and personal experience to shape their patterns of integration.

Erin Hamilton, University of California, Davis and Claudia Masferrer, El Colegio de México. De Facto Deported U.S.-Citizen Children in Mexico (Grant Period: 7/1/2021- 6/30/2022; $34,852)
Abstract: We have little information regarding U.S.-born children who migrate to Mexico to accompany their deported parents. These children are “de facto deported” as their migration is forced. We will enumerate and describe the characteristics of these children.

Emily Weisburst and Felipe Goncalves, University of California, Los Angeles and Elisa Jacome, Princeton University. Immigration Enforcement, Crime, and Community Trust (Grant Period: 6/1/2021-5/31/2023; $21,648)
Abstract: The U.S. deports unauthorized immigrants with criminal records, but there is little evidence of its effects on crime and community trust in the police. We will use restricted survey data of crime victimization and national 911 call data to evaluate the impact of immigration enforcement on public safety (crime rate) and community trust (crime reporting behavior) and clarify the trade-offs associated with immigration enforcement.

Nuria Rodriguez-Planas and Rafael de Balanzo Joue, Research Foundation of the City University of New York. Emergency Relief Fund for Undocumented and Low-Income Students: Evidence from CUNY, the Public University System in New York City (Grant Period: 5/1/2021- 4/30/2023; $169,756)
Abstract: This project analyzes the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on two vulnerable student populations: (1) students enrolled at the City University of New York (CUNY); and (2) 25,000 CUNY students who qualified to receive the Chancellor’s Emergency Relief (CER) grant, a $500 lottery-based grant targeted to undocumented or low-income students. First, we document the financial and personal burdens faced by these students during the pandemic and the medium-run consequences of the pandemic on economic well-being and academic performance. Second, we evaluate the causal impact of the CER grant. Third, we explore how the pandemic has transformed students’ perceptions of the challenges their communities face.

Caitlin Patler, University of California, Davis and Altaf Saadi, Massachusetts General Hospital. Reuniting Families: Understanding the impact of immigration prison decarceration due to the COVID-19 pandemic on detained immigrants and their families (Grant Period: 4/1/2021-3/31/2023; $168,082)
Abstract: Detention by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is detrimental for detained people, as well as for their familied and children. The COVID-19 pandemic marked an unprecedented change whereby courts ordered the decarceration of immigration prisons to ensure social distancing and protect health. We interrogate whether and how decarceration impacts economic stability, psychological wellbeing, engagement and trust in key societal institutions, and children’s educational outcomes. We use a longitudinal, mixed-methods, and multi-perspective study design to follow 300 households over the course of release.

Leah Schmalzbauer, Amherst College. Disrupted Mobility? An Ethnographic Exploration of Covid-19’s Experiential Impact on Upwardly Mobile Latinx Youth and their Families (Grant Period: 12/1/2020- 8/31/2022; $50,000)
Abstract: Low-income Latinx families have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. I will examine the familial implications of Covid-19 for a small but growing Latinx demographic—low-income second-generation youth who are studying at, or recently graduated from, highly selective colleges. These youths have been positioned to achieve high-status jobs, while their parents work in low-wage, precarious sectors. Drawing from ethnography, interviews, and time diaries, I will explore these questions: How is Covid-19 impacting the mobility pathways of Latinx youth attending or recently graduated from an elite college? How are they navigating the relationship between their individual goals` and their responsibilities and roles within their families?

Teresa Janevic and Ellerie Weber, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Ashley Fox, Research Foundation for the State University of New York. Left Behind: Immigrant Medicaid policy inclusion and maternal and infant health (Grant Period: 11/1/2020-10/31/2021; $40,193)
Abstract: As non-citizens, some immigrants are excluded from safety-net programs that low- income Americans can access, including Medicaid. Using a mixed methods approach combining qualitative interviews with state maternal and child health program administrators and natality data, we will estimate the effect of restrictions on immigrant women’s access to prenatal care and adverse pregnancy events result from preconception and prenatal Medicaid policies toward immigrant women. We will exploit the differential expansion of Medicaid to immigrant versus non-immigrant women across states. Key-informant interviews will enable us to refine and validate state-level policy variables and contextualize findings given the variation in policy implementation across different units of government.

Katharine Donato and Sarah Miller, Georgetown University. The Assimilation Experiences of Unaccompanied Migrant and Orphaned Children (Grant Period: 7/1/2020-6/30/2022; $155,503)
Abstract: There is little research on the experiences of adults who entered the U.S. as migrant and refugee children without parents and/or other relatives. In this project, we will collect and analyze interview data about the integration experiences of these adults to better understand how they navigate their lives to complete their education, begin to work, obtain financial independence, form relationships, and have children. We also seek to understand how different periods of entry and contexts of reception are associated with these outcomes.

Asad Asad, Stanford University. Precarious Citizenship: Judicial Decisions in U.S. Denaturalization Cases (Grant Period: 7/1/2020- 6/30/2022; $35,000)
Abstract: This study examines denaturalization, or the process of removing an immigrant’s acquired citizenship, as one tool the federal government uses to sever naturalized citizens’ juridical rights and undermine their long-term presence in the country. I rely on the texts of 1,266 federal judicial decisions pertaining to denaturalization—the universe since 1892—to examine whether and how judges make denaturalization decisions. I create a database to summarize denaturalization case characteristics, including the age, sex, and national origin of the naturalized citizens and legally relevant case characteristics over time. I then consider in a multivariate framework whether naturalized citizens’ sociodemographic characteristics pattern judges’ decisions, net of legally relevant characteristics and over time. Third, I examine the content of judges’ decisions to uncover the reasoning underlying their decisions over time.

Irene Browne, Emory University and Natalie Delia-Deckard, University of Windsor. The Effect of Immigration Policy on Middle-class Latino/a Immigrants (Grant Period: 5/1/2020- 4/30/2023; $36,218)
Abstract: We will investigate the social mobility trajectories of authorized middle-class Latino/a immigrants and the forces that shape those trajectories. Our project investigates whether and under what conditions a hostile climate of reception affects authorized. We plan to re-interview middle-class Dominican and Mexican immigrant parents in Atlanta who we interviewed in a previous project, and interview new respondents. We will target self-employed individuals in our supplemental sample, particularly Mexican and Dominican restaurant owners, and Dominican hair salon owners.

Nilda Flores-González, Angela Gonzáles, and Emir Estrada, Arizona State University. The Arizona Youth Project: (Re)defining National Belonging (Grant Period: 3/1/2020- 8/31/2022; $161,501)
Abstract: Our project examines how U.S.-born Latinx, Native American, and white youths make sense of themselves and others as Americans in an increasingly nativist context. We analyze how nativist discourses, policies, and practices—particularly after Trump’s election— affected diverse U.S-born youth’s sense of belonging, and how they reimagine, reclaim, rearticulate, and reconstitute national belonging. We selected five counties in Arizona that contain significant white, Latinx and Native American populations living in different contexts. Our qualitative study includes in-depth interviews with youth and a subsample of parents, and “mini-ethnographies” of a sample of youth-led organizations to examine the familial and community contexts that shape identity formation and civic and political engagement.

Roger Waldinger, University of California, Los Angeles. Taking status apart: How the citizenship and legal status of immigrant parents affects the well-being of their U.S.-born children (Grant Period: 1/1/2020-12/31/2022; $47,482)
Abstract: Because legal status shapes resources that immigrant parents have to benefit their families, it affects not only them but also their children, including the U.S.-born. Due to data inadequacies on documentation status, we know little of how parents' legal status shapes the wellbeing of their children and how status effects intersect with contextual environments and differ by ethnic group and developmental stage. Analyses of the California Health Interview Survey, covering residents’ socioeconomic wellbeing, health conditions, and citizenship and detailed legal status (distinguishing among naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, authorized temporary residents, and undocumented persons) will shed light on these issues.

Erika Arenas and Edward Telles, University of California, Santa Barbara. Feasibility of Tracking and Re-Interviewing Immigrant Respondents of a Population Based Longitudinal Survey After 10 Years (Grant Period: 1/1/2020- 5/31/2022; $ 20,540)
Abstract: We will examine how immigrant labor market trajectories are associated with immigration status (i.e., fully undocumented, legal permanent residence, citizens) and their pre-migration resources, across different contexts. We will build on the Mexican Family Life Survey- that has established the capacity to retain an initial sample of Mexican immigrants as they moved to the U.S. We will also use panel data from the U.S. to examine trajectories between first-, 1.5-, and second-generation Mexican immigrants, non-Hispanic Whites, and African Americans. Our analysis will cover three periods: immigration expansion, the Great Recession, economic recovery, and mass deportations.

Joanna Dreby and Eunju Lee, State University of New York at Albany. The Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement Episodes: An Exploration of The Impacts on Young Adults (Grant Period: 12/1/2019-11/30/2022; $100,009)
Abstract: Given the increased enforcement and the trauma associated with deportation and detention, enforcement episodes likely are significant barriers to the integration of youth in immigrant origin families. In-depth interviews, paired with questionnaires, with 40-60 young adults (ages 18-30) who had a parent arrested, detained, or deported due to immigration violations while under age 18 will explore how they understand enforcement to have shaped their (1) resiliency, (2) relationships, (3) education and (4) emotional well-being. Analyzing variations by type of enforcement episode, and triangulating quantifiable measures with narratives, will identify what about these episodes augment—or mitigate—immigration related trauma, and the types of social support that may lead to resiliency.

Joscha Legewie, Harvard University, Niklas Harder, Stanford, and Amy Hsin, Queens College, City University of New York. Effects of Stop-and-Frisk Policing on the Educational Outcomes of Undocumented Youth (Grant Period: 9/1/2019-8/31/2022; $137,499)
Abstract: Little attention has been paid to the effect on immigrants of local police practices, even though exposure to local police is more common than exposure to immigration raids. We will examine the effect of New York’s stop-and-frisk (SQF) program and the college outcomes of undocumented youth. Under SQF, millions were stopped and briefly detained. We will analyze the effect SQF on the college performance of undocumented youth by merging over five million instances of SQFs over a 10-year period with data on college performance of students attending the City University of New York. Our project will estimate the causal link between aggressive policing and the educational outcomes of undocumented youth.

Ajay Chaudry and Sherry Glied, New York University. Identifying the Effects of Proposed Public Charge Rules on the Well-Being of Immigrant Families and Children and State Policies to Protect Access to Public Safety Net Supports (Grant Period: 7/1/2019-6/30/2021; $154,364)
Abstract: This study examines the effects of a proposed change to the definition of “public charge” for low-income, legal immigrants on the well-being of their families and children. The project will analyze changes in program participation using state administrative data for health and nutrition program benefits in New York state. A second component would be to conduct in-depth site visits to interview key policy and program informants to identify what state leaders are observing as key challenges that have emerged from the proposed rule changes and how the changes are received and understood in immigrant communities.

Karen Tejada, University of Hartford. Putting them on ICE: Policing Salvadoran Communities in Long Island (Grant Period: 7/1/2019- 6/30/2022; $101,472)
Abstract: This study examines how Salvadoran migrants on Long Island are impacted by the criminalization practices of local police when these entities cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). The project will first collect ‘community’ data and then capture ‘police’ data to explore: 1) the effects that local police and ICE cooperation have on Salvadorans on Long Island; 2) how these families respond to local police when ICE is involved; and 3) how non-profit organizations mediate community-policing relations.

Rocío Calvo, Boston College and Mary Waters, Harvard University. How Social Protection Policies and Institutions Contribute to Older Immigrants’ Wellbeing and Sense of Belonging in America (Grant Period: 7/1/2019- 6/30/2022; $174,423)
Abstract: This study proposes explores how older Latino immigrants navigate the system of social support, and how interactions with service providers shape their American identity. Drawing on in-depth interviews with older Latino immigrants and with service providers, we investigate how older immigrants find social services in Boston, Austin, and Miami. We anticipate that non-entitled immigrants will feel more welcomed in their interactions with providers in the more universal system of Boston than in the restrictive systems of Austin and Miami. The age protection system, however, may not attenuate the feelings of otherness of long-term immigrants with universal entitlements.

Huyen Pham, Texas A&M Research Foundation and Van Pham, Baylor University. The Spillover Effects of 287(g) Agreements on State Trooper Policing (Grant Period: 7/1/2019- 6/30/2021; $34,352)
Abstract: Our project analyzes the spillover and racial profiling effects of 287(g) agreements, through which local enforcement agencies (sheriffs) enforce federal immigration laws. We find racial profiling effects: (1) committed by other LEAs that operate in 287(g) counties (like state troopers and local police) but are not parties to the agreements and (2) occurring after agreements expire. We use data from the Stanford Open Policing Project, our collection of 287(g) agreements, and county arrest data.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • Pham, Huyen and Pham Hoang Van. “Sheriffs, State Troopers, and Spillover Effects of Immigration Enforcement”, under review at the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and other law reviews

Rowena Gray, University of California, Merced. Immigration, Crime and Policing: Evidence from US History (Grant Period: 7/1/2019- 6/30/2020; $21,185)
Abstract: The project will investigate the impact of immigration on crime and explore the role of public sector employment in intergenerational mobility of immigrants. It examines a historical setting with sizable inflows, identifies the causal impact of immigrants, and estimates the possible long run benefits of political patronage for groups that secured jobs as a result. This project will use Census data, combined with new data on arrests and policing that has been constructed using annual police reports for 30 US cities, 1880-1930.

Daniel Chand, Daniel Hawes, and Christopher Banks, Kent State University and Maria Calderon, University of Maryland, College Park. Detained Immigrants and Parole Decisions: Does Legal Aid Make a Difference? (Grant Period: 6/1/2019-8/31/2022; $ 32,825)
Abstract: Due to recent policy changes, thousands of asylum seekers remain in detention. However, a recent District Court case ordered that detainees be allowed to apply for parole while awaiting their asylum hearing. However, most applicants must apply for parole with little or no legal assistance. In most cases, immigrant-serving nonprofits organizations providing legal services have scarce resources. We are proposing a random assignment field experiment to determine the effects of legal assistance when applying for parole.

Lauren Duquette-Rury, Wayne State University. Naturalizing Under Threat: Citizenship Acquisition in the Age of Immigration Enforcement (Grant Period: 4/1/2019-3/31/2022; $48,587)
Abstract: I study who, among the eligible, naturalizes and why. I show that sociopolitical threats, such as restrictive immigration legislation and interior enforcement programs, can explain variation in naturalization across immigrant groups from 1910 to 2017. Drawing on a comparison of Latino/a and Arab origin groups and a mixed methods research approach combining original interviews, quantitative data, and a field experiment, I show when and why lawful residents choose to become citizens as a source of protection and political expression.

Julia Gelatt and Jeanne Batalova, Migration Policy Institute. A Pre-Post Study of the Impact of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Termination on TPS Holders and Their Employers (Grant Period: 3/1/2019- 9/30/2021; $174,398)
Abstract: In 2019, Salvadorans and Haitians lost Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and with it, work authorization and protection from deportation. We propose a pre/post study of how TPS loss affects economic and social integration and how it affects employers. We will analyze administrative data on TPS workers and ACS data, with imputations of TPS holders. We will conduct two rounds of interviews with 40 TPS holders, 40 employers, and 20-28 service providers across four sites. The study will sharpen our understanding of how losing legal status affects integration, including differential effects on black and Latino immigrants, and those in supportive and less supportive policy contexts.

Jeremy Weinstein, Jens Hainmueller, and Duncan Lawrence, Stanford University and Jeremy Ferwerda, Dartmouth College. Co-Sponsorship and Refugee Integration Evaluating the Impact of Co-Sponsorship on Refugee and Host Community Outcomes in the United States (Grant Period: 11/1/2018-4/30/2021; $47,192)
Abstract: This project will address how co-sponsorship impacts refugee integration and public support for resettlement policy. Refugee resettlement is increasingly contentious, yet we know little about the programs and policies to facilitate integration of this population. We will conduct the first randomized study on the impact of co-sponsorship on refugee integration outcomes. Our methodological approach is to pair randomized enrollment with rigorous data collection on a range of outcomes using diverse quantitative and qualitative methods.

Giovanni Peri, University of California, Davis. Does Immigration Enforcement Affect Crime, Job Opportunities, and Health Care? (Grant Period: 7/1/2018- 6/30/2020; $70,691)
Abstract: We evaluate the impact of enforcement leading to apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants on the wages and employment rates of natives, on local crime rates and on the access of immigrants to local health care. We use administrative data on apprehensions, deportation, and enforcement at the county level between 2007 and 2016. We exploit aggregate cycles of intensification and decrease in enforcement, and local exposure to deportation to estimate these effects. If the undocumented are a threat to local communities more enforcement would improve crime and labor market outcomes. However, if they are an asset, harsh enforcement can disrupt labor markets, affect industries, create uncertainty for firms and reduce local trust with detrimental effect on crime, the economy and the health of immigrants.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • Hines, Annie Laurie, and Giovanni Peri. 2019. “Immigrants’ Deportations, Local Crime and Police Effectiveness”, IZA Institute of Labor Economics IZA DP #12413: 1-40.

Allan Colbern, Arizona State University. Today’s Runaway Slaves: Unauthorized Immigrants in a Federalist Framework (Grant Period: 7/1/2018- 12/31/2021; $35,000)
Abstract: Sanctuary policies are not an aberration in history. I examine how Constitutional arrangements make sanctuary policies an enduring feature in American federalism and advance a theory of how politics explain where and when sanctuary policies emerge and proliferate. I systematically trace the passage of sanctuary policies over runaway slaves 1780-1860, asylum seekers 1980-1997, and undocumented immigrants 2000-2017, and employ process tracing using archival materials, news articles, and interviews, to explain how activists across periods mobilize to pressure states and localities to enact sanctuary policies.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • Colbern, Allan, Melanie Amoroso-Pohl, and Courtney Gutierrez. 2019. “Contextualizing Sanctuary Policy Development in the United States: Conceptual and Constitutional Underpinnings, 1979 to 2018”, Fordham Urban Law Journal 46(3): 489-547.

Florencia Torche, Stanford University. The effect of prenatal exposure to restrictive immigration law on infant health. (Grant Period: 7/1/2018-3/31/2020; $35,000)
Abstract: Restrictive immigration law can have damaging effects even if experienced before birth. Based on the recent finding that a punitive immigration bill passed in Arizona in 2010 had a negative effect on birth outcomes of Latina immigrant women, this project includes two components: (1) It extends the analysis to another punitive immigration bill passed in Alabama in 2011 to assess the generalizability and contextual variation of the findings. (2) It examines the mechanisms accounting for the negative impact of the anti-immigration bill on birth outcomes. The first component uses causal inference approaches and restricted-access birth records. The second relies on in-depth interviews with Latina immigrants who were pregnant during the passage of the Arizona bill.

Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University, Mark Leach, U.S. Census Bureau, and James Bachmeier, Temple University. Educational Integration Across Generations Among Mexicans and Other National Origins Groups (Grant Period: 6/1/2018-5/31/2021; $113,464)
Abstract: How immigrant families change across generations remains unclear due to data limitations. We will use linked census data to follow immigrant parents, their children, and grandchildren from 1940 to 2014 and focus on whether Mexican immigrants’ educational assimilation patterns differed from immigrants of past eras; whether Mexicans’ prospects for integration improved over time; and whether their opportunities differed across states. By identifying the contexts where inequality emerges and persists, our project engages in the debates currently about whether it is possible to integrate diverse waves of newcomers.

Heather Koball, Columbia University and Sheila Smith, National Center for Children in Poverty. The Effects of State Immigration Policies on Preschool Enrollment of Children of Immigrants (Grant Period: 4/1/2018-6/30/2020; $121,690)
Abstract: This study assesses the impact of state immigration enforcement policies and driver's license policies for unauthorized immigrants on the preschool enrollment of children of immigrants. These policies may deter immigrant parents from enrolling their children in preschool by creating a climate of fear and reducing modes of transportation to preschool. Preschool enrollment is fundamental to addressing educational lags that vulnerable children face. We will use a state policy database, linked to the American Community Survey, imputed with immigrants’ legal status, in a difference-in-difference analysis.

Shannon Gleeson and Kati Griffith, Cornell University. Temporary Immigration Status, Race and Workplace Precarity (Grant Period: 3/1/2018-2/28/2020; $ 30,242)
Abstract: Immigration status is a source of immigrant worker precarity that shapes labor market entry, working conditions and workers’ propensity to make claims against their employers when faced with abuses. This project highlights the experience of workers with temporary immigration status, analyzing not only how immigration status workplace outcomes, but also how it intersects with factors such as race/national origin and local political context.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • ·  Griffith, Kati and Shannon Gleeson. 2017. “The Precarity of Temporality: How Law Inhibits Immigrant Worker Claims”, Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal (special issue on “Migrant Workers,” edited by Judy Fudge) 39(1): 111-141.
  • ·  Griffith, Kati and Shannon Gleeson. 2019. “Trump’s ‘Employment’ Law Agenda: Intensifying Employment-based Enforcement and Un-authorizing the Authorized”, Southwestern Law Review 48(1): 475-501.
  • ·  Gleeson, Shannon and Kati Griffith. Forthcoming 2020. “Workers with Temporary Protected Status: The Value and Limits of Delinking Immigration and Employment Status,” 21 Century Coolies (edited by Robyn Rodrigues and Leticia Saucedo)
  • ·  Gleeson, Shannon and Kati Griffith. 2021. “Employers as Subjects of the Immigration State: How the State Foments Employment Insecurity for Temporary Immigrant Workers,” Law & Social Inquiry 46(1): 92-115.
  • ·  Griffith, Kati, Shannon Gleeson, and Vivian Vazquez. Forthcoming 2020. “Immigrants in Shifting times on Long Island NY: The Stakes of Losing Temporary Status,” Denver Law Review 97.

Thierry Devos and Melody Sadler, San Diego State University and Kumar Yogeeswaran, University of Canterbury. Changing ‘America’: Ethnic Diversity and Implicit Conceptions of National Identity (Grant Period: 9/1/2017- 8/31/2019; $33,727)
Abstract: Are increases in ethnic and racial diversity associated with a pluralistic national identity or more pronounced exclusion of ethnic minority groups? This research examines whether temporal fluctuations in ethnic diversity account for implicit conceptions of national identity and whether they are moderated by contextual factors and individual differences in political orientation and ethnicity. In three studies, indicators of ethnic diversity from the Census will be combined with existing datasets assessing implicit and explicit ethnic-American associations (Project Implicit data).

Publications (and work in progress):

  • · Devos, Thierry, Melody Sadler, and David Perry. 2021. “Temporal Fluctuations in Context Ethnic Diversity Over Three Decades Predict Implicit National Inclusion of Asian Americans”, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 24(1): 3-25.

Tomas Jimenez, Stanford University, Deborah Schildkraut, Tufts University, Yuen Huo, University of California, Los Angeles and John Dovidio, Yale University. Sub-federal Immigration Policy and Belonging (Grant Period: 6/20/2017-6/30/2019; $49,977)

Abstract: Our objective is to extend our research on how sub-national policy approaches to immigration in Arizona (where unwelcoming immigration policies prevail) and New Mexico (where welcoming immigration polices prevail) affect attitudes about belonging and evaluations of ethnoracial outgroups among non-Hispanic whites (U.S.-born citizens) and Latinos (both U.S.-born and non-U.S.-born, citizens and noncitizens). We have already collected survey and experimental data in the two states. We now seek funds to gather in-depth interviews with individuals from these three groups. In-depth interviews complement and extend promising findings from the quantitative research we have already completed.

Publications (and work in progress):

· Huo, Yuen, John Dovidio, and Tomas Jimenez. 2019. “Not Just a National Issue: Effect of State-Level Reception of Immigrants and Population Changes on Intergroup Attitudes of Whites, Latinos, and Asians in the U.S.” Journal of Social Issues 74(4): 716-736.


RSF Journal

Katharine M. Donato, Georgetown University; Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University. The Legal Landscape of U.S. Immigration in the Twenty-First Century (Grant Period: 2/1/2019-7/31/2020; $35,000)
Abstract: Public debates about immigration have raised interest in the visa admission system—its goals, number and type of visas offered—and have stimulated research on the relationship between legal visas and immigration law and practice. Among other issues, scholars have examined differences in merit vs. family-based visas, temporary work visas and their consequences, and the intended and unintended consequences of practices and policies derived from immigration law. This issue examines the legal landscape of U.S. immigration.

Kay Deaux, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Nancy Foner, Hunter College, City University of New York, Katharine Donato, Georgetown University. Immigration and Identities: Race and Changing Ethnicity in the United States (Grant Period: 8/1/2016-6/30/2020; $80,000)
Abstract: Since the 1960s, the U.S. has experienced increased immigration from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Today immigrants and their U.S.-born children represent approximately 25 percent of the population. How has immigration changed the way that both newcomers and the native-born understand what it means to be American? This issue investigates how immigration has shaped the way longer-established Americans, immigrants and their children, see themselves and others in terms of race, ethnicity, and national identity— and considers their implications for intergroup relations.

Summer Institutes

Irene Bloemraad, University of California, Berkeley; and Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University. 2020-2021 Summer Institutes in Migration Research Methods (Grant Period: 1/1/2020-12/31/2022; $50,000)
Abstract: This supplementary grant will ensure a diversity of participants in the third and fourth Summer Institutes on Migration Research Methods. The Institute is geared to early career scholars, with eight days of training in the use and analysis of data of particular relevance to migration researchers.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • Bloemraad, Irene and Cecilia Menjivar. 2021. “Precarious Times, Professional Tensions: The Ethics of Migration Research and the Drive for Scientific Accountability”. International Migration Review: 1-29.
  • Bloemraad, Irene. 2021. “Claiming Membership: Boundaries, Positionality, US Citizenship, and What it Means to be American”, Ethnic and Racial Studies: 1-24.

Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University and Irene Bloemraad, University of California, Berkeley. 2019 Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods (Grant Period: 12/1/2018-11/30/2019; $102,412)
Abstract: The second summer institute, held at Pennsylvania State University in June 2019 had 30 participants out of the 144 applications. The institute focused on research design using mixed methods, administrative record linkages, and causal inference techniques for research on immigrants and immigration policy. Themes related to legal status and professional development were woven throughout the training modules. Visiting faculty and guest speakers from economics, sociology, political science, psychology, and law, industry, and government covered topics such as: (1) ethical migration research and the application of mixed-research methods; (2) experimental and observational approaches to causal inference; and (3) longitudinal data analysis and administrative record linkage.

Publications (and work in progress):

  • Ro, Annie, and Jennifer Van Hook. 2021. “Comparing Immigration Status and Health Patterns between Latinos and Asians: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation”. PLOS ONE 16(2).

Irene Bloemraad, University of California, Berkeley; and Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University. 2018 Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods (Grant Period: 12/1/2017-4/30/2019; $144,246)
Abstract: The first Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods took place in June 2018 at the University of California, Berkeley. The PIs received 215 applications from early-career scholars from around the globe, of whom 32 were selected from several disciplines, including sociology (44%), political science (13%), and economics (13%). Seventeen instructors, including economists, political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, and others, taught three modules: (1) legal status data collection, imputation strategies and causal identification of legal status effects; (2) surveying migration, mobile and hidden populations; and (3) using new data sources (including web-scraping and social media data) and machine learning.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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