The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) at UCSD provides a unique institutional home for understanding the challenges and opportunities created by international migration to California, the United States as a whole, and other countries around the world. The CCIS research agenda focuses on Mexican migration to California and comparative, cross-national and cross-regional research on international migratory movements, immigration policy, and citizenship policy. CCIS is the only academic center in the United States specializing in international migration from a broad geographical as well as interdisciplinary perspective, devoting substantial attention to migrant-sending and receiving countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. CCIS-affiliated researchers encompass all of the social sciences, history, arts and humanities, and legal studies; no single discipline dominates CCIS programming.
The primary missions of CCIS are to conduct policy-oriented research; train academic researchers, students, and practitioners; and disseminate research conducted under its auspices to academics, policymakers, and NGOs through research seminars, conferences, briefings, publications, the Internet, and the mass media. The Center is also committed to actively collaborating with other academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and local immigrant communities.
CCIS serves extensive statewide, national, and international constituencies. CCIS has established a solid, international reputation for sponsoring and conducting cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in the international migration field. The Center has become a national and international resource center, serving as a clearinghouse for researchers, providing primary research data, public policy analysis, and referrals to immigration scholars worldwide.
CCIS’ engagement with the international research community takes a variety of forms. Collaborative research and training agreements with foreign universities are particularly important because they enhance the Center’s competitiveness for grants from non-U.S. funders and create international research opportunities for our students. CCIS has formed research and training partnerships with three Mexican and six Spanish universities to conduct fieldwork-based immigration research in those countries. Principal Mexican partner institutions include El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia’s Centro Yucatán. Students and faculty from one of these universities participate annually in the Center’s Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program, when fieldwork is conducted in the state where the partner institution is located.
To encourage and facilitate collaborative research on international migration, CCIS has built a global electronic network of 355 Research Associates based in 25 different countries. The Center also has 35 institutional affiliates, 12 of which are located outside the United States.
Since its founding in 1999, CCIS has:
- Received funding from UCSD, various programs in the University of California system, and numerous independent foundations
- Published 15 books based on research carried out at the Center
- Provided research content for media outlets including the New York Times, PBS, the BBC and NPR
- Held a regular research seminar series in addition to 24 large-scale research conferences
- Developed a working papers series offering scholars the opportunity to share and receive feedback on their work in progress
- Trained hundreds of students through the Mexican Migration Field Research Program
- Developed an undergraduate minor in International Migration Studies and an M.A. program in Latin American Studies with a specialization in International Migration
- Hosted 132 visiting fellows and guest scholars
- Helped alumni to obtain positions at pretigious universities across the globe