My dissertation is a mixed-methods study of undocumented immigrant students’ higher education trajectories. I focus on three main questions.

  1. How does legal status affect higher education performance and persistence?
  2. How and why do students’ prospects and performance change throughout their course of study?
  3. (How) has the profile of undocumented / non-citizen students changed over time?

Working Papers:

Warming Up or Cooling Out? Educational Trajectories of Undocumented College Students”

Abstract: Classical models of immigrant assimilation employing higher education as a mechanism for social mobility may not apply to young adults who are excluded from the institutions deemed integral to the assimilation process. As a result, many young adults who have lived most of their lives in the United States but lack citizenship, the so-called “Dreamers,” may be relegated to a pattern of downward assimilation as the institutions necessary for social incorporation, namely higher education and the labor market, may be inaccessible. This project examines how educational opportunities and prospects for incorporation into the United States vary according to one’s citizenship status. I address the educational trajectories and experiences of immigrant-origin students at a large, urban university system with a sizeable population of undocumented students. A quantitative analysis of institutional data demonstrates the differences in educational pathways, including college major choices, of undocumented students relative to other immigrant-origin and native students.

“Undocumented in Higher Education: Not just elites, not just Latinos” (with Dr. Jinwon Kim)

“Because of DACA? An analysis of social policies’ effects on undocumented students’ college-going behavior”

“Who is Moving to the Suburbs? Demographic Changes in the NYC Metro Area’s Latinos: 1990-2015”

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 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.