John Skrentny and Jane Lilly Lopez present at Indiana Journal of Law & Social Equality Symposium

graphic-logo-indiana-university-maurer-school-lawCCIS Director John Skrentny and Graduate Student Researcher Jane Lilly Lopez, will present their paper “Obama’s Immigration Reform: The Triumph of Executive Action in His First Term” at the Indiana Journal of Law & Social Equality Annual Symposium: “Social Equality: Looking Forward and Looking Back” on Friday, April 5th.

For more information, click here.

Rocio Rosales – Migrants of Dos Mundos: Sending Community, Exploitative Relations and Immigrant Outcomes

Thursday, March 7
Social Sciences Building 101

This paper is based on five years of ethnographic field research among a group of Latino fruit vendors in Los Angeles as well as interviews with their Mexico-based family members. It examines the influence of the sending community on migrant outcomes in the United States. For this population of migrants, I argue that the sending community and social networks structured around it can help to explain how migrants entered into and remained in the informal and high-risk work of fruit vending. In some instances, the exploitative nature of social networks structured around sending community negatively impacted outcomes in the U.S. and subsequently affected these migrants’ economic and social contact with home.

rosales-profilepicRocio Rosales is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California – San Diego.  She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles in 2012. She received her A.B. in Sociology (cum laude) with a certificate in Latin American Studies from Princeton University. Her research interests involve international migration, informal work, Latinos/as in the U.S. and urban ethnography. Her work will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and as a chapter in a forthcoming edited book published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

* Jointly sponsored with UCSD Department of Sociology

Launch of CIR Blog

The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) at UC San Diego has launched a new blog that will provide analyses of the comprehensive immigration reform debate as it unfolds.  For more information and to view the blog, click here.

Gabriel J. Chin – Federalism at the Border: Immigration Policy and the States

Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00pm
Hojel Auditorium, Institute of the Americas
UC San Diego

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases seem to send opposite messages about the hundreds of recent state and local laws regulating noncitizens. One decision upheld Arizona’s law imposing sanctions on employers hiring undocumented workers, while the other struck down many parts of that state’s notorious SB1070, designed to drive out undocumented people using a policy of “attrition through enforcement.” Where is the line between valid state assistance to the federal government and unconstitutionally establishing independent state immigration policies? What could be wrong with the states helping enforce the federal government’s own statutes?

Gabriel J. Chin is Professor of Law at the University of California Davis School of Law. A former professor at the University of Arizona, he has written extensively about that state’s SB1070 law and other state immigration regulations.

For more information, contact Warren College at

*Jointly sponsored with UC San Diego, Earl Warren College and California Western School of Law, San Diego


Audrey Singer – Immigrant Workers, Human Capital Investment and Strengthening Regional Economies

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Seminar to be held on Monday, March 4th in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

Coming out of the Great Recession, slow economic recovery has U.S. communities seeking strategies that will grow jobs in the short term and improve standards of living over the long term. This talk focuses on immigrants in the labor force and their skills, an especially relevant topic given that debates about immigration policy reform have started.  How geographic regions can invest in the human capital and economic advancement of immigrants who are already living in their jurisdictions, to help boost short- and long-term U.S. economic growth, will be discussed.

Immigrant skills-0025Audrey Singer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. Her areas of expertise include demography, international migration, U.S. immigration policy, and urban and metropolitan change. She has written extensively on U.S. immigration trends, including immigrant integration, undocumented migration, naturalization and citizenship, and the changing racial and ethnic composition of the United States. Her co-edited book, Twenty-First Century Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburban America, focuses on the fastest growing immigrant populations among second-tier metropolitan areas including Washington, DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sacramento, and Charlotte.  Other Brookings publications include, “The Geography of Immigrant Skills,” “State of Metropolitan America: on the Front Lines of Demographic Transformation,” “Immigrants, Politics, and Local Response in Suburban Washington,” “The Rise of New Immigrant Gateways,” and “From ‘Here’ to ‘There:’ Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America.”  Her articles have appeared in academic journals such as International Migration Review, Demography, Urban Geography, Geographical Review, and Ethnic and Racial Studies and her commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post,, Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, Seattle Times and Vanguardia Dossier.  Prior to joining Brookings, Singer was an associate in the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to Carnegie, she held a faculty position in the Department of Demography at Georgetown University, and was a demographic analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor. She was chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association in 2010.  Singer earned a Ph.D. in sociology, with a specialization in demography, from the University of Texas at Austin. She has an M.A. in sociology also from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in sociology from Temple University. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago.


German Marshall Fund Immigration and Integration Policy Fellowship

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is offering a three to six-month doctoral fellowship in the field of migration and integration at GMF’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The application deadline is February 28, 2013.

The Fellowship is designed to bring doctoral students working on immigration and integration issues to Washington, DC for a stay of three to six months. It aims to expose them to the work of a transatlantic organization and connect them with relevant experts and research resources in Washington, DC. During the program, the Fellow will be based at GMF’s headquarters and will work closely with GMF’s Immigration and Integration team. The Fellowship is unpaid, but the Fellow will be provided with shared office space and support from locally-based staff for independent research and writing activities while in residence. Depending on the experience level and the quality of the work produced, the Fellow will have the opportunity to write and publish short articles and papers, as well as actively participate in GMF events, including moderating or speaking activities. The Fellow may also have an opportunity to provide advice on GMF projects and programming.

Fellows should focus on a topic closely related to one or more of GMF‘s Immigration and Integration team’s research and programming areas:
1. Immigration and integration dynamics and practices at the local level, including welcoming initiatives and practices to foster social cohesion among immigrant and receiving communities;
2. Labor migration policies and the global competition for talent;
3. Diversity and Inclusion policies and the promotion of diverse leadership in sectors such as government, business or media.

Special consideration will be given to applicants who work on these topics in a comparative or transatlantic/international perspective.

GMF strengthens transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere, by convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities, by contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics, and by providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship.

1. Applicants should have completed a university degree and currently be working on a PhD in the field of migration and integration, with expertise or research focused on one of the topics listed above.
2. Applicants should have experience in a professional environment (e.g. previous internship or employment).
3. Applicants should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, and should be self-motivated and able to work independently.

For applicants already based in Washington, DC, there is also the option of doing this fellowship part-time.

Application Procedure
There is no formal application form. To apply for this fellowship, please submit the following documents:
• A cover letter describing your main research interests, your interest in the fellowship and what you expect to gain through a research stay in Washington, DC, and how you could contribute to programming at GMF;
• A curriculum vitae;
• A writing sample of 5-10 pages in English.

Please send your application materials via email to Stefanie Jost at You will receive an email confirming the receipt of your application after the deadline. All application materials must be received by GMF by the deadline in order to be considered.

UC-wide Immigration Conference 2013

“We asked for workers and families came:” Children, youth and families in migration

Friday, February 22, 2013
9am to 8pm (including dinner and cultural event)
University of California, Los Angeles
(385 Charles E. Young Drive, 1242 Law Building, Los Angeles, California 90095)

This conference draws together UC-wide faculty and students who study children, youth and families in relation to migration issues, broadly defined. Collectively, we want to address such questions as: How do migration experiences shape the experiences of growing up and raising children? How do current immigration policies affect families? How are the children of immigrants faring in educational contexts? What identities are they forming? What are their daily lives and experiences, and aspirations for the future? What policies and practices best support the health and welfare of immigrant children, youth and families? How does the recognition of children’s claims to educational access and to various forms of lawful status (ranging from Deferred Action to U.S. citizenship), based on their ties or their birth in the United States, both reflect and affect fundamental notions of citizenship and belonging?

To RSVP, click here.

For more information, click here or contact Peter Catron at

* Jointly sponsored with UCLA

SCHEDULE (Rooms subject to change):


Held in the hallway outside of Room 1347.

9:00-9:15 a.m. WELCOME

ROOM  1347.

Remarks by Marcelo Suarez-Orozco.


ROOM  1347.

10:45-11:00 a.m. BREAK

Refreshments provided outside of Room 1347.


ROOM 1347.

12:30-1:30 p.m. LUNCH

Boxed lunches are located outside of Room 1347.


Poster presentations are located in the hallway outside of Room 1347.






3:45-4:00 p.m. BREAK







6:00-8:30 p.m. Dinner (with keynote speaker and cultural event) 

Qualcomm CEO Discusses Immigration With Obama (UT San Diego)



Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs has often criticized current immigration law, saying it makes it hard to hire foreign-born engineering graduates when the company recruits at U.S. universities.

On Tuesday, Jacobs got the chance to make that pitch directly to President Barack Obama as one of about 10 business leaders invited to the White House to discuss immigration reform.

Jacobs joined chief executives from Motorola Solutions, Goldman Sachs, Yahoo, Marriott, Alcoa, United/Continental and other firms in the private meeting with the president, who has made immigration reform a priority of his second term.

Jacobs was unavailable Wednesday for an interview. But Qualcomm issued a statement saying the San Diego company supports comprehensive changes to the nation’s immigration laws.

“Highly skilled immigrants are critical to innovation and are important contributors to economic growth in the United States,” said Jacobs. “As a company that employs and hires thousands of engineers, we believe it’s critical that we do everything possible to welcome the most talented inventors to our shores by updating immigration rules that disadvantage U.S. companies.”

Qualcomm’s gripe with current law centers on caps and restrictions on temporary work visas and permanent green cards for foreign workers.

For example, one rule forbids spouses of workers with temporary visas from seeking jobs in the U.S., said Alice Tornquist, Qualcomm’s vice president of public affairs based in Washington, D.C. Caps on the number of green cards issued each year can result in foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities waiting years — sometimes a decade — to be cleared to work here permanently.

Supporters of reform say these hurdles discourage not only foreign-born, highly skilled workers but also noncitizen entrepreneurs from founding companies and creating jobs.

“We don’t know to what extent we’re losing talent, brilliant people, who just decide upon graduation not to pursue employment in the United States,” said Tornquist. “We’re making it impossible.”

A bill recently introduced in the Senate raises caps on annual temporary work visas and exempts certain jobs from the green-card limits in fields such as science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM.

“So a STEM graduate from a U.S. university with an advanced degree — master’s or above — with a job offer in a science, technology, engineering or math field, would get a green card without waiting,” said Tornquist.

Critics of loosening rules for highly skilled immigrants say many U.S. citizens with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math can’t find jobs in those fields, said John Skrentny, a sociology professor and director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego.

“For example, about 15 million Americans have STEM degrees, but only 5 million work in STEM,” he said. “Where do these STEM workers go? It’s not clear.”

U.S. computer programmers have complained that they are replaced by cheaper foreign workers here on temporary work visas, added Skrentny. “Some also argue that employers refuse to train or retrain American workers and prefer to simply import foreigners who have the needed skills,” he wrote.

Lawmakers last tackled comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. Those efforts largely failed. Qualcomm is hoping for a better outcome this time.

“We really look at this opportunity, with comprehensive immigration reform, as the best chance to get the changes that we think are needed,” said Tornquist.

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