Current Projects

Inflexible Illegality

For my first book project, Inflexible Illegality: Immigration and integration processes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Latino/a immigrants in the Midwest, which is based on my dissertation, I ask:  1) How does the intersection of structural inequalities based on race, class, gender, and legal status shape mixed-status families’ experiences in Kansas? and (2) How do mixed-status family members manage risk, negotiate their legally vulnerable lives, and respond to their conditions? I conducted sixty-two in-depth interviews with Indigenous-origin (Maya, Tlapaneco, and Mixteco) and non-Indigenous Latino/a immigrants and ethnographic participant observation between 2016 to 2018 in Kansas. The context of Kansas, a re-emergent destination, allows for a critical examination of place intersecting with immigrants’ social positions and structural arrangements.

Small Towns and Race Relations

In this collaborative project with Cecilia Menjivar, Walter J. Nicholls, and Daniel Alvord we look at perceptions of immigration and race relations in rural Kansas, by looking at how people in a small town perceive and treat a new immigrant group from Central America. My collaboration for this project involves ethnographic participant observations in rural Kansas as well as in-depth interviews with Latin/ao immigrants living in the town. The criminalization of immigrants, particularly Latina/os, shapes interactions between immigrants and non-immigrants and affects social integration processes.

Latino/as’ Healthcare Access 

What barriers do Latina/o immigrants face upon accessing healthcare? and What initiatives do health providers create to address the health of the Latina/o immigrant population? For this collaborative project with the Migration Policy Institute, and JUNTOS organization in the University of Kansas Medical Center, I work as a research consultant to conduct analysis of qualitative data including in-depth interviews with medical providers and focus groups with Latino/a immigrants and produce a report on that highlights Latino/as access to health care. This research aims to generate recommendations for mental and physical healthcare providers to best serve the Latina/o immigrant population in Kansas.