Past Events

The Sixth Annual UC International Migration Conference
“Immigration Policy at Varying Scales”

Hosted by the University of California Riverside
School of Public Policy (SPP at UCR)

Friday, February 20, 2015
8am to 5pm
UCR Alumni Center

(event is at capacity; RSVP closed)


8am: Breakfast, introductions

“Doing the State’s Work on the Local Level: Border Patrol Agents in Arizona”
Irene Vega, UCLA

“Refugees and Immigration Policy in the Middle East”
Rawan Arar, UC San Diego

“Desde la Raya: Fast Food and Immigration in Orange County, California”
Eudelio P. Martinez Jr., UC Irvine

9:45 BREAK

“Community-Based Responses to Central American Immigrants: The Arrival of Unaccompanied Minors at the U.S.-Mexico Border”
Adalberto Aguirre, Julisa McCoy, Amy Perry, UC Riverside

“A Crisis of Media Proportions: News Coverage and Agenda Setting on the Child Migrant Problem”
Andrea Silva and Karthick Ramakrishnan, UC Riverside

11:00 am
Keynote Remarks by State Senator RICARDO LARA, sponsor of landmark legislation on immigrant integration in California

Noon to 1:15pm

1:15pm to 2:15pm
Roundtable on Undocumented Status and Its Relevance for Politics and Policy
Caitlin Patler, UC Irvine
Angela Garcia, UC San Diego
Maria-Elena DeTrinidad Young, UCLA
Jane Lilly López, UC San Diego

“Enrolling ‘Good Immigrants’: Soft Logics of Marginality in the Undocumented Underclass”
Abigail Andrews, UC San Diego

“The Implications Of Fertility And Socio-Demographic Change For U.S. Immigration Policies On Less-Skilled Immigrants”
Frank Bean, UC Irvine

“The Great Recession and Health Spending Among Citizens and Noncitizens”
Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA

3:45pm BREAK

“Organizing Migration: Examining Exploitation and Innovation Hypotheses for Guest Worker Sponsorship”
Peter Norlander, UC Berkeley

“Changes in the Transnational Family Practices of Mexican Farm Workers in the Era of Border Militarization”
Erin Hamilton and Joanna Hale, UC Davis


Immigration in California

March 30, 2014
5pm to 7pm

Panel on pro-immigrant integration policies by state and local governments

Organized by PODER, co-sponsored by Immigration Research Group


Political Activism and Media Representation:
A Conversation with Angry Asian Man

Phil Yu is the founder and editor of the popular Asian American news/culture blog Angry Asian Man, and host of Sound and Fury: The Angry Asian Podcast. Building a steady, loyal readership since 2001, Angry Asian Man has been called “a daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American.”

Mixing humor with criticism, Phil’s commentary has been featured and quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, Los Angeles Times and more.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
6:00 – 7:30pm
Material Science and Engineering Building (MSE) 116

Controlling Mobility: From Slave Passes to Contemporary Migrant Identification

Allan Colbern (Political Science)

This dissertation project explores the development of state and local controls over the free presence of antebellum blacks and contemporary immigrants on entry, residency, and access to public resources. This study develops an original concept of free presence that links the recent rise and variation in immigration law across states and local governments to similar sets of laws used to control non-immigrants in American history.

This project argues that race, federalism, and labor control are important to these developments in documentation and control over free presence. This paper serves as an overview of this dissertation project and focuses on setting up a comparison between blacks in the antebellum free north and contemporary immigrants. Two research questions are explored: what explains the development of documentation and free presence over time and what explains variation across states? This original comparison of blacks and immigrants contributes to the study of race, federalism, immigration, and American political development (King and Smith 2005; Smith 1997; Tichenor 2002).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
1pm to 2pm

Jenkin Library, Watkins 2145


So You’re Half?: A Theory of Multiracial Identity and Political Behavior

Danielle Lemi

Few political scientists study the ‘two or more’ population, and I suggest a lack of theorizing about multiracial political behavior is the reason. I argue that multiracial identity is relevant for politics. I offer a theory of multiracial political behavior that suggests the quality of intra-racial/intra-ethnic interactions influences both identity trajectories and moderates political behavior outcomes. Multiracial identities mediate the relationship between racial identity formation experiences and political behavior. I offer several testable hypotheses based on this theory.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1pm to 2pm

Watkins 2206


Conducting Archival Research: Best Practices and Pitfalls

Allan Colbern and Justine G.M. Ross
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Noon to 1pm

What’s in a Name?: Political party images, branding, and the construction of winning coalitions

Justine G.M. Ross

Political parties have long been recognized as motivated by electoral gain, but little attention has been paid to how parties broaden their constituency beyond core supporters to achieve this aim during times of electoral uncertainty. The current day Republican Party sits at a critical juncture: maintain the status quo brand and risk marginalization, or rebrand the Party in a new image to forge winning coalitions?

The aim of this dissertation is three-fold. First, I seek to reconcile existing definitions of party image, (individual-level perceptions of a political party) by distinguishing image from brand, (those components of presentation over which the party has control). Second, I will analyze how party images and favorability have changed over time, paying particular attention as to why these fluctuations occurred. Finally, I will employ a mix of controlled and field experiments to determine how parties – present and future – can manipulate their brand to improve their image, favorability, and subsequent electoral odds.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Noon to 1pm


Jenkin Library, Watkins 2145
(2nd Floor)

Immigration Reform Since 1986: How Important is the Role of the Latino Vote?

Isabel de la Riva (History senor thesis, UCR)

This project draws on research on changes in U.S. immigration policy since 1986, the expanding Latino electorate, and how they relate to each other. Using a mixed method approach, I draw on opinion polls, news coverage of political actors and their shifting views on immigration reform, and academic research on immigration and immigration policy. I will provide a historical analysis of legislation on immigration reform spanning the last three decades. My goal is to analyze three dynamics: the ways in which different legislators have made sense of the causes and consequences of the “broken immigration system” since 1986; the ways that Congress has attempted to address these problems through legislative solutions; and the extent to which Latino political power has played a role in the changing rhetoric and legislative action of members of Congress. Looking at reform efforts in 1996, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2013, I assess the claim that–among both Republican and Democratic legislators–the importance of the Latino vote to immigration reform has increased over time with the growth of the Latino electorate. Alternative explanations for the changing rhetoric and legislative action on immigration center around policy challenges faced by U.S. employers and the mobilization of conservatives on immigration.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Noon to 1pm


Elasticity of Labor Supply to the Firm Over the Business Cycle

Todd Sorensen (Economics, UCR)

Todd Sorensen will present a working paper, with Briggs Depew(Arizona) and Peter Norlander(UCLA), on H1-B workers that is relevant to current immigration reform debates.

We offer evidence that the elasticity of supply of labor to firms employing large numbers of skilled workers on visas in the United States is finite, although within the range of other estimates. Using a unique dataset of payroll records of workers at six Indian IT firms who worked in the United States from 2003-2011, we are also able to estimate return elasticities for workers’ return to India, and for the first time, are able to precisely estimate the relationship between the elasticity and the business cycle because of the fine-grained nature of the data. Adopting a Manning (2003) search frictions model to identify the elasticity of supply to the firm, we estimate potential firm wage-setting power by examining the decision of individual workers to terminate employment. We conclude that wage-setting power fluctuates with the business cycle, and that workers are more likely to return to India in times of high unemployment, but are less likely to separate from employment. We discuss how labor market frictions offer plausible explanations for some of the phenomena seen in the guest worker technology labor market.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Noon to 1pm


The Political Development of Mobility Regimes in early America, 1680 – 1865

Allan Colbern (Political Science, UCR)

Allan Colbern will present a chapter from his dissertation, which analyzes the development of mobility regimes as they involve communities of color, from the regime of slave passes prior to the Civil War, to visa and passport controls, to driver license mobility regimes today. This talk will focus on the development of slave passes in the United States.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
12pm to 1pm


Beyond the Base: GOP Party Organizations and New Coalition Construction

Nicholas Boushee (Political Science, UCR)

There is much speculation about how the Republican Party will change its image and strategy to remain electorally competitive in a demographic context that increasingly favors their opposition. Top GOP officials are calling for a concerted effort of reforming the party’s image and reaching out to new (primarily minority) groups, and it is not yet clear how this playing out at the local level. This dissertation aims to systemically research this attempted move toward a more racially inclusive party. Using a mixed method approach that relies heavily on qualitative techniques (structured interviews, participant observation, and content analysis), I seek to provide insight on: 1) how the Republican Party is working to achieve changes to image and voting coalitions while maintaining their base; 2) what is the response to these calls from party organizations and party actors at the local level. In addition to describing and explaining variation in these local efforts, I will also seek to describe and explain: 3) how are these local efforts are perceived by minority groups, and 4) and how is the GOP base responding to changes and calls for change?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Noon to 1pm


Electoral Competition and Latino Representation:
The Partisan Politics of Immigration Policy in Congress

Loren Collingwood (Political Science, UCR)

As Congress debates immigration reform, how have the parties traditionally represented their constituents on this issue? What role did electoral competition play on legislator votes, and were these effects the same for Democrats and Republicans?

Given Latinos’ unique and relatively intense interest in the issue of immigration, we assess two perspectives on electoral competition and minority representation – the marginality hypothesis and mobilization hypothesis. Our empirical analyses lend support for both the marginality and mobilization hypotheses and suggest that the parties differ in their strategies for building electoral coalitions in competitive environments. In the mid-1990s, Democratic representatives voted more favorably on immigration in districts that were both competitive and over 30 percent Latino. However, for GOP representatives the trend is the reverse, as political competition undermines Latino representation on the topic of immigration. Thus, electoral competition has varying effects by party when it comes to representation on immigration.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Noon to 1pm

Jenkin Library, Watkins 2145
(2nd Floor)


Going Beyond Who You Know:
Empathy and Public Opinion on Immigration

Chris Haynes (Ph.D. candidate, UCR; Fellow at CCIS, UC San Diego)

With his January 29, 2013 immigration speech, President Obama made his bold and confident case for comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, the likelihood that an acceptable immigration bill passes Congress is not at all certain. Much could depend on which side is able to most effectively frame the debate and win over public opinion. What is clear is that proponents of immigration reform are making significant use of a particular emotional appeal…empathy. Will the gamble on an emotion-heavy, empathetic strategy be able to sway public opinion and thus, members of Congress? Previous research finds that inducing empathy can improve intergroup attitudes. But, little has been done on the connection between empathy and support for immigration policies. In my research, I analyze news coverage on immigration policy to see how empathetic framing varies across news sources. I also conduct experiments to examine empathy’s effect on support for permissive immigration policies (i.e. path to citizenship). In short, I find that empathy increases support for permissive policies, particularly among individuals with little prior contact with undocumented immigrants. Most striking is the finding that the empathic effects are substantial enough to move this initially unsupportive group (those with no prior contact) to instead support all three permissive policies.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Framing the Dream Act in News Media and Public Opinion

Jennifer Merolla (CGU), Karthick Ramakrishnan (UCR), and Chris Haynes (UCR)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In this paper, we provide a historical overview of the DREAM Act, from its promising start more than a decade ago, to its position as the most popular component of immigration reform in 2006, to its failure to pass in Congress in 2010, with Democrats in control of Congress and the Presidency. Next, we provide a content analysis of how the DREAM Act got covered in the news—via print, network television, and cable news shows. In particular, we pay attention to the relative prominence in news stories of frames that emphasize the consideration of beneficiaries as those who came to the United States as young children, and/or as those who had no choice in the matter of having a legal way to enter and stay in the United States. We also consider the extent to which the term “amnesty” gets invoked in news coverage of the DREAM Act, and whether this varies by the ideology of news source. Finally, we examine whether these issue frames make any difference for voter opinion: Across all three experiments from 2007, 2010, and 2011, we find that highlighting that people came over as young children increases support for the DREAM Act, with effects somewhat stronger among Republican voters.


Immigrant Researcher Convening
Bringing Together Research and Policy Perspectives

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hosted by: Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California
Co-sponsored by Immigration Research Group (UCR), California Immigrant Policy Center


Parent Assets and Aligned Ambitions
Investigating Latina/o College Choice Across Generations

Sarah Ryan, University of California, Riverside

Thursday, June 7, 2013


Don’t Turn a Deaf Ear
The challenges faced by deaf immigrants seeking asylum in the United States

Amanda Admire, University of California, Riverside

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Financial Crisis and Outgroup Punishment in the United States
The Effect of Financial Crises on Immigration Policy

Andrea Silva, University of California, Riverside

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Socioeconomic Integration of U.S. Immigrant Groups Over the Long Term
The Second Generation and Beyond

Steven Trejo, University of Texas, Austin

Thursday, April 17, 2012


Identity Documents and American Political Development

Allan Colbern, University of California, Riverside

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Linked Fate and Inter-Ethnic Variation Among Asian Americans

Carrie Skulley and Chris Haynes, University of California, Riverside

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The Impact of Immigrant Mobilization on Immigration Policy Making

Andrea Silva, University of California, Riverside
Tom Wong, University of California, San Diego

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times
Results from and Ethnographic Study

Douglas Massey, Princeton University

Monday, February 6, 2012
Co-sponsored by: Department of Sociology, Center for Ideas and Society


Faustian Bargains: The Politics of Unauthorized Immigration

Daniel Tichenor, University of Oregon

This presentation will analyze the origins and development of unauthorized immigration as an American dilemma that splinters the polity and creates permanent gradations of membership that corrode liberal democracy. For more than a century, U.S. policy battles over illicit immigration have been shaped by competing ideological traditions and rival interests. In the past, strange-bedfellow alliances have struck compromises to enact reform legislation. Today these Faustian bargains have come home to roost, exposing the dire social implications of past policies, the profound flaws of leading reform proposals, and the perils of polarization.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


A Critical Discourse Analysis of Refugees and Economic Migrants During the End of the Cold War

Kevin Sitz, UCR

In the postwar era, many different groups came to the United States under a variety of different labels and conditions: displaced person, refugee, asylum seeker, and economic migrant. This study is chiefly concerned with the arrival of refugees and economic migrants during the era of President Reagan’s immigration reform policy. Put simply, this study is motivated by a basic question: What impacts citizens’ views of new arrivals to their community? More specifically: How does immigration status (political refugee vs. economic migrant) impact public opinion and rhetoric regarding an arriving immigrant group? Does the label of “refugee” change the way citizens view newcomers because of the difference in framing that is associated with this status label as opposed to other labels, such as “economic migrant?” The purpose of this project is to see if the refugee label carried significant discursive weight during a period of large-scale immigration reform. This study utilizes the method of critical discourse analysis, and it relies on a number of discursive sources: (un)favorable media coverage, letters to the editor, and letters to elected officials. In order to understand the labels of “refugee” and “economic migrant” Kevin is planning to undertake an in-depth case study analysis of white (Russian, Irish), Latino (Nicaraguan, Mexican), and Asian (Hmong, Filipino) immigrant groups in the late 1980s around the time of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


The Effect of Empathy on Immigration Policy Preferences

Chris Haynes, UCR

Scholarship finds that opinion change on immigration policies can occur as a result of changes in emotions and beliefs triggered by the experience of various emotions.  Previous research on emotion and immigration opinion has explored the impact that anxiety and anger at immigrants. However, little research has explored the effect that empathy has on information search, learning, and policy opinions on immigration.  That which has been done has relied on student pools, limiting its external validity.  Grounded in cognitive appraisal theory of emotion, I argue that increased feelings of empathy toward illegal immigrants will induce information search and learning, resulting in more support for liberal immigration policies.  Specifically, feelings of empathy can overcome the barriers that predispositions (i.e. partisanship and race) pose to consideration acceptance and opinion change.  To explore these questions, Chris will conduct an experiment manipulating emotional reaction to different media stories about immigration using members of the general public. He intends to explore the implications of effect on learning, the effect on political beliefs, the affect about illegal immigrants, the effect on immigration policy preferences, and the effect of time on opinion decay.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


The Labor Market Value to Legal Status

Todd Sorensen, UCR

We present estimates of the effect of legal immigration status on earnings of undocumented workers. Our contribution to the literature centers on a two-step procedure that allows us to first estimate the legal status of an immigrant and then estimate the effect of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) on immigrants’ labor market outcomes using a triple difference approach. From a sample of young to middle aged Mexican men, our results show that IRCA causes a 20 log point increase in labor market earnings of Mexican immigrants over the long run, and that nearly all of this increase is in the occupational wage. These results suggest that the primary disadvantage for undocumented workers is the type of jobs that they are able to obtain. We estimate the model for immigrants from other countries not benefiting from IRCA to the extent that Mexican immigrants did, and find no systematic bias towards positive and significant results.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


Growing Up Angry: How Landmark Immigration Events Affects Public Opinion

Marisa Abrajano, UCR

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

“Visa and Passport Policies”
Allan Colburn, UCR

2pm at INTN 2031
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

“Gap or Overlap? Parent-Child Acculturation Differences in Mexican Immigrant Families”

Tanya Nieri, UCR

Using interviews with one immigrant parent and one adolescent child from 30 Mexican families in the United States, this study explored the extent and nature of acculturation differences between Mexican immigrant parents and their children and the effects of differences on the parent-child relationship. Children tended to affiliate with American culture more than their parents did, but parents and children shared great familiarity with and affinity for Mexican culture. Rather than being on a trajectory of increasing cultural differences, the families were on a trajectory towards decreasing separation, as parents and children worked to learn each other’s cultures and develop a shared family culture. To the extent that parent-child conflict existed, it was viewed as generational rather than cultural. The authors recommend use of the term “overlap,” rather than the commonly used “acculturation gap,” to more accurately depict parent-child acculturation in these immigrant families.

2pm at INTN 2031
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

“Emigration and Undercount of the Foreign-Born Hispanic Population in the United States, 1990-2000”

Matheu Kinoshiro, RAND

Problems with Census undercount have made it difficult to estimate the emigration of Hispanics – let alone the emigration (and other statistics) of the rest of the population. Dr. Kinoshiro uses the latest literature to produce counts of the 1990 – 2000 emigration of the stock foreign-born Hispanic who were present for the 1990 Census. He will also discuss the quality of the 1990 Census as a result of the political context in which the Census was situated.

2pm at INTN 2031
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome Back Meeting

The Immigration Research Group inaugurates the new school year with a mixer.  All faculty and graduate students conducting immigration-related research are invited to attend. This mixer will welcome old and new members of the IRG, introduce its new leadership for the 2011-2012 school year, and discuss upcoming events.

2pm at Watkins 1126
Watkins Hall, UCR

Sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

“The Battle of the Invisibles: Undocumented Workers vs Supermarkets”

by Manuel de Alba

The Battle of the Invisibles: Undocumented Workers vs Supermarkets” is a 60-minute documentary film that focuses on the janitorial labor force from Puebla, Mexico and the exploitation of their labor by major U.S. supermarkets. It also tells the story of how thousands of workers from a rural town in Mexico became employed by California’s grocery stores and engaged in a five-year struggle against labor abuses by powerful supermarket chains including Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons.
For more information regarding the flim please go to:

Following a screening of the documentary will be a panel discussion featuring:

Manuel de Alba, Universidad de las Americas Puebla;
Ellen Reese (sociology); Yesenia Cabral (UFCW);
and Karthick Ramakrishnan (political science) as moderator.

Noon at INTS 1111
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Co-sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society, UC MEXUS, Labor Studies


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Immigration Enforcement in the Age of Obama

A panel discussion featuring
Todd Sorensen, Professor of Economics, UCR
Isaac Menashe, Policy Analyst, California Immigrant Policy Center
Emilio Amaya, San Bernardino Community Service Center
Suzanne Foster, Pomona Economic Opportunity Center

Noon at INTS 1111
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Co-sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Economics of Border Enforcement

A talk by Gordon Hanson, Professor of Economics, UCSD

1:30pm at INTS 1111
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Co-sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society, CHASS California Futures Initiative


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Educational Legacy of Migration Status:
How Parental Unauthorized Status Relates to Children’s Attainment

A talk by Frank Bean, Chancellor’s Professor at UC Irvine

Noon-1pm at Jenkin Library
Watkins 2145 (2nd Floor)

Co-sponsored by: Center for Ideas and Society, CHASS California Futures Initiative


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Screening of “Harvest of Loneliness: the Bracero Program”
and talk by film maker and historian Gilbert Gonzalez

2-4pm at INTS 1113
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR

Co-sponsored by: Labor Studies, Chicano Student Programs, Department of Anthropology, Department of Ethnic Studies


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles: Crafting a Story, Building an Institution, Working for Change


A talk by Manuel Pastor, USC

In the last two years, Professor Pastor and a series of colleagues have tried to build a new Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC. He will talk a bit about the research, including community-based focus groups, that prompted the Center and will discuss in more detail the process of building the center, including the intersection of the Center’s research with various immigrant and civic groups.

Pastor will draw lessons both for a more inclusive approach to immigrants in metropolitan areas and for the ways in which universities can positively contribute to such an approach.

Noon-1pm at INTS 1111
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building, UCR