PRC Graduate Student Trainee — M.A., University of Texas at Austin
PRC Graduate Student Trainee; Recipient NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
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Carmen is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and a research trainee in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research explores topics within crime, law, and deviance through a population perspective. Carmen’s current projects focus on the effects of recent changes in U.S. immigration policy. Specifically, she investigates the impact of localized immigration enforcement on the experiences of Latinos living in the United States. For example, she has examined how such changes in immigration reform influence migration decisions, health outcomes, and interactions with the law and local police among foreign- and U.S.-born Latinos.
Her master’s thesis, “Casting a Crime Net, Catching Immigrants: An Analysis of Secure Communities’ Effect on the Size of Foreign-Born Mexican Populations,” assesses the efficacy of the nation’s most widespread immigration policy, Secure Communities, and uncovers the association between Secure Communities and population changes among foreign-born Mexicans in areas throughout the U.S.
Carmen currently focuses on the influence of localized immigration enforcement on legal outcomes among Latinos in the United States. Recent work with her graduate advisor, Dr. David Kirk, has examined the relationship between the immigrant concentration and the likelihood that police are notified of crime within a metropolitan area. This work was supported by the 2013-2014 National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Pre-doctoral traineeship.
In her dissertation work, Carmen plans to continue investigating the consequences of U.S. policies that have shifted the power for immigration enforcement from a federal authority to one shared with local police through the support of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
Prior to entering graduate school at UT, Carmen received her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.