Current Work

Local Law Enforcement Accountability Challenges

One of my current projects, stems from observations at community meetings with local law enforcement after the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent development of local police accountability coalitions meant to create hyperlocal campaigns and solutions to national, mainly anti-immigrant polices. I observed local law enforcement agents attempt to distance themselves from implementing immigration enforcement in response to recent executive orders pertaining to these practices. I also examine how that distancing is accepted or rejected by community members and how these decision making practices sometimes pit Latinx community members against black community members’ calls for transparency, accountability, and reform.

Redefining Responses to Racialized Immigrant Threat

In my second project, I am developing and testing a scale to measure how immigration enforcement practices (both those viewed as punitive and helpful) factor into the politics of reception for immigrants, particularly in newer immigrant destinations. These include but may be expanded:

  • U-Visa Policies
  • “Sanctuary” Resolutions
  • 287(g) Programs
  • Deputized Staff with Immigration Authority
  • Reimbursements (SCAAP)
  • Detainer Usage Policies
  • Interagency Taskforce Participation
  • Probation Policies
  • Pre-Traffic Stop Policies

Collaborative Work

Civilian Review Board Variation and Effectiveness with Theresa Rocha Beardall

Latinx Healthcare Access Study with Collin Mueller

Electronic Immigration Enforcement Monitoring and Surveillance Aesthetics  with Albert Stabler

Dissertation Work


My dissertation, tentatively titled THE BROWNING OF THREAT: The “Unintended” Aftermath of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a New Destination Community is a mixed-methods approach to investigate how local law enforcement implements federal immigration enforcement programs throughout the state of North Carolina. I’ve spent time as a participant observer as well as conducting formal and informal follow-up interviews with attendees at 287(g) Steering committee meetings and/or persons previously involved with each program in each of the following counties: 1) Henderson County, 2) Gaston County, 3) Cabarrus County, 4) Wake County, and 5) Mecklenburg County. I’ve supplemented this information with archival data from counties during their adoption phase of the 287(g) Program and incorporated pre and post traffic stop data when relevant.

Here is an in-progress storymap of some of my work. And a timeline of criminalization processes of immigrants at the intersection of the United States and North Carolina policies.

Previous Research

  • Research Assistant for the National Science Foundation grant-funded project titled Science of Broadening Participation: Stratification in Academic Career Trajectories with the American Sociological Association.
  • Research Assistant for The Application Study supervised by Dr. Jessi Streib (Duke University).
  • Research Assistant for the Southern Immigration Laws Study supervised by Dr. Hana Brown (Wake Forest University) and Dr. Jennifer A. Jones (Notre Dame University).
  • Researcher for Southern Oral History Project: New Roots/Nuevas Raices supervised by Dr. Hannah Gill (UNC-Chapel Hill).