The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) was established in March 1999 under the leadership of Dr. Wayne Cornelius. Today, CCIS has become an independent research unit at UCSD and has further continued to grow its outreach and research dissemination capabilities, academic programs and research portfolio.
Led by Co-Directors Dr. John Skrentny and Dr. David FitzGerald, CCIS has become a recognized institutional home for high quality academic scholarship and policy-oriented research on all aspects related to international migration. 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.
From its unique vantage point on the Pacific coast, only 30 miles from the Mexican border, CCIS maintains a global outlook though a worldwide network of research associates, institutional affiliates and alumni. Today, the Center’s global network of research associates has expanded to over 355 Research Associates based in 25 different countries. The Center also has 35 institutional affiliates, 12 of which are located outside the United States. CCIS academic staff and Fellows appear frequently in the local and national media discourse on immigration issues, and their scholarly work informs immigration policy and practice worldwide.
Alongside developing innovative research, CCIS endeavors to develop greater public engagement with migration studies through comprehensive outreach and education. At home at UC San Diego’s Eleanor Roosevelt College, CCIS has long been a center for the training of undergraduate and graduate students, with unique academic programming both in La Jolla and through the Mexican Migration Field Research Program. CCIS has maintained a longstanding Visiting Research Fellowship Program and research seminar series. Open to the campus and the general public, the series continues to provide the opportunity for Visiting Fellows, Guest Scholars, UCSD faculty, and non-local guest speakers to present and receive feedback on their most recent work.
CCIS has developed several unique academic programs for students focusing on migration for undergraduate and graduate students. The minor in International Migration Studies, designed to provide undergraduate students with an understanding of the causes, politics, and social consequences of international migration from a broad comparative perspective, is only the program of its kind in the United States. CCIS has also collaborated with UCSD’s Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies to establish an interdisciplinary M.A. Program in Latin American Studies with specialization in International Migration. In recent years, CCIS has concluded collaborative research and student training agreements with 11 universities and research institutions abroad, including five in Mexico and six in Spain.