Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Center for Equality and Justice Research in Service of Communities: A Focus on Immigration

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Location: Lundring Events Center
Description: This session features research projects funded through the Center for Equality and Justice Fellowships for Research in the Service of Communities. The fellowships supported faculty-student research teams with the goal of producing high-quality, empirical scholarship as well as raising awareness, informing decision makers, and promoting community wellbeing on issues related to justice and equality. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Molly George
and Arely Rivera-Rojas

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Molly George (faculty co-author)
"We Are Not Border Control:" Local Police and Immigration Enforcement

This paper explores an emerging trend in U.S. immigration policy: the devolution of federal immigration law to the state and local level. This has resulted in inconsistent and divergent immigration policies in counties and cities across the country, ranging from enforcement-oriented to immigrant-supportive communities. Through a case study of one city that falls on the immigrant-supportive side of the spectrum, this research offers insight into how police officers are experiencing these policies on the ground. In-depth interviews and field observations reveal that officers are ambivalent about the effect of the city’s hands-off immigration ordinance; there were mixed opinions about whether the statutes towards noncitizens improved or reduced public safety. Findings contribute to the literature on immigration in sociology and criminology and offer evidence-based insights for reforming immigration policy.

Akiko Yasuike
and Cathy Howell

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Akiko Yasuike (faculty co-author)
Children in a Global Age: The Experiences of Undocumented Students

Based on 20 in-depth interviews with undocumented individuals who are currently enrolled in or already graduated from universities, the study examined the impact of growing up without documentation on social relations, educational experiences, identity development, and social activism. The participants were recruited through a snow ball sampling in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The study identified common themes in their experiences as the undocumented: 1) the saliency of undocumented social identity in public, 2) engaging in stigma management, 3) the dampening and strengthening effects of undocumented status on academic and career aspiration, 4) college experiences as empowering, and 5) earned American citizenship. The preliminary analysis of this on-going study raises a question of what it means to be American and reveals a contradiction in US immigration policy.