UC DACA supporters
December 4, 2020

Experts on DACA

UC Riverside scholars offer expert perspectives on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA

Author: UCR News
December 4, 2020

Experts on DACA

For fast access to experts, email news@ucr.edu

On Dec. 4, a federal judge restored the rights afforded undocumented immigrants eligible for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program. The program had been in a state of suspension throughout the Trump presidency.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ordered the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday to accept first-time applications and ensure work permits are valid for two years. Legal challenges to DACA from states continue, and advocates for the immigrants hope for congressional legislation to permanently affirm the rights of "dreamers."

UC Riverside experts are available to speak to the DACA program; the implications of the Dec. 4 ruling and ongoing court challenges; the Biden administration's expected handling of the program; and legislative remedies. 

Alfonso Gonzales: Associate professor of ethnic studies. A first-generation college student born in Tijuana, Mexico, Gonzales is a theorist of Latino and Latin American politics studying issues of migration control, human rights, migrant social movements, and the politics of race in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. His underlying concern is to understand how Latino migrant and refugee social movements influence policy and the politics of migration control from the ground up.  

He has published in Politico and The Hill, among other outlets, and wrote the award-winning 2013 book “Reform Without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State.” The book explores post-9/11 migration control policies and Latino migrant activism and includes interviews with more than 60 migrant activists in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C, as well as with deportees in Mexico and Central America. alfonso.gonzales@ucr.edu 

Jennifer Nájera: Associate professor of ethnic studies. Nájera’s research focuses on students in higher education who live in the country illegally, although the breadth of her work incorporates Mexican racial categorization, Latino/a education, the history of Mexican immigration, and contemporary immigration policy. Of particular interest is the way that students — particularly college students — build communities that provide social and navigational capital in order to succeed. 

Nájera is also an expert in borderland studies and the author of the 2015 book “The Borderlands of Race: Mexican Segregation in a South Texas Community.” jennifer.najera@ucr.edu

Karthick Ramakrishnan: Professor of public policy and political science. Ramakrishnan’s research focuses on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. His most recent book, “Framing Immigrants” (2016), explores how conservative, liberal, and mainstream news outlets frame and discuss undocumented immigrants. Drawing from original voter surveys, Ramakrishnan and his co-authors show that the media's framing of immigration has significant consequences for public opinion, and has implications for the passage of new immigration policies. 

Ramakrishnan is also the founder and director of UCR’s Center for Social Innovation, where he heads a working group dedicated to original immigration research. He has appeared in more than 1,000 news stories published in or broadcast by outlets such as The New York Times, The Economist, the Los Angeles Times, PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, and NPR. karthick.ramakrishnan@ucr.edu 

For fast access to experts, email news@ucr.edu or text 951-534-8912

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