Dr. Nina Martin, CURS 2013-14 Scholar-in-Residence

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Nina MartinWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Nina Martin from the Geography and Global Studies departments is our Scholar-in-Residence for 2013-14. Dr. Martin will use this opportunity to develop grant proposals for her research on the political advocacy work of migrant civil society organizations.

The incorporation of migrants into host societies is fraught with barriers and obstacles, arising from conflicts around issues such as national identity, labor market participation, and access to social welfare services. In the U.S., federal immigration policy strongly shapes the migration experience but once migrants arrive in their destinations the quality of life they experience is directly shaped by the policies, programs, and public sentiments that exist at the local level. Recently, immigration policy has been taken up by federal leaders as a policy priority, and after years of inaction a new federal immigration policy seems very likely. Federal reform is partly necessitated by the emergence of state and local immigration policies that have created a patchwork quilt of mostly exclusionary migrant policies across the country. Understanding how migration-related conflicts and migrant integration are negotiated across different scales of governmental policy is a primary goal of this research.

This research will document the range of responses by migrant organizations to the perceived threats and opportunities created by a political environment espousing the “self deportation” of undocumented immigrants. The proposed research examines the variability of organizational responses to the potential opportunities and threats resulting from the 1) growth of subfederal immigration policy, and 2) the possible federal immigration reform. The research explores the points of opportunity for civil society organizations to intervene in the political sphere, and how this opportunity structure varies between policy venues.

Our Scholar-in-Residence program provides a course buy-out and funds for proposal development expenses so that faculty members in the social and behavioral sciences can develop large, ideally interdisciplinary, research proposals. Find out more about the Scholar-in-Residence program.