CCIS Director Emeritus and Theodore Gildred Distinguished Professor of Political Science and U.S.-Mexican Relations, Emeritus
Co-Director, Center of Expertise on Migration and Health
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
University of California at San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0548
Telephone: (858) 822-4447
Fax: (858) 822-4432
Described by The Nation magazine as “the nation’s foremost academic expert on Mexican immigration,” Cornelius is a leading authority on immigration policies in North America, Spain, and Japan. He is also a specialist on Mexican politics and development. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 247 publications dealing with these subjects. He is a Past President of the Latin American Studies Association. He founded UCSD’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies in 1979 and directed it from 1979-1994 and 2001-2003. In 1999 he established UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and directed it until 2009.
Professor Cornelius graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in Political Science and Latin American Studies, from The College of Wooster (Ohio), which chose him for its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award. His Ph.D. (in political science) is from Stanford University. He was Professor of Political Science at MIT from 1971-1979 and he has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, El Colegio de México, the University of Tokyo, and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a Visiting Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn, Germany) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York). He has taught at UCSD since 1979, most recently teaching courses on the comparative politics of immigration and field research methods. He received the MIT Graduate Council Award for Teaching Excellence, the UCSD Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the UCSD Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award (twice, in 2004 and 2009), the UCSD Latino Students’ Award for Faculty Mentoring, and the American Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award for Distinguished Teaching in Political Science.
Cornelius has conducted field research in Mexico since 1962, in the United States since 1978, and in Japan and Spain from 1992-2008. From 2004-2009 he led the UCSD-based Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program, which conducts annual, in-depth studies of migrant-sending and receiving communities in Mexico and the United States. His books include Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective (co-author/co-editor; 2nd ed., Stanford University Press, 2004); Impacts of Border Enforcement on Mexican Migration: The View from Sending Communities (co-author/editor; CCIS/Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007); Mayan Journeys: The New Migration from Yucatán to the United States (co-author/editor, CCIS/Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007), Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico (co-author/co-editor, University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), Four Generations of Norteños: New Research from the Cradle of Mexican Migration (co-author/editor, CCIS/Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009), Migration from the Mexican Mixteca: A Transnational Community in Oaxaca and California (co-author/editor, CCIS/Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009), and Mexican Migration and the U.S. Economic Crisis : A Transnational Perspective (co-author/editor, CCIS/Lynne Rienner Publishers, forthcoming 2009).
His research has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Times of London, Newsweek, US News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” and “Marketplace,” PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS’ Front Line, the BBC World Service, CNN Presents, CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, and HBO Documentary Films.
Political economy of immigration, immigration policy in advanced industrial nations, U.S.-Mexican relations, Mexican politics
Geographical Regions of Specialization
Mexico, Spain, Japan
Current Research Projects
A comparative analysis of immigration control measures and their outcomes in 11 industrialized nations, an analysis of the efficacy and consequences of U.S. border enforcement strategy, a study of voting in home-country elections among Mexican immigrants in the United States, and a project on the administration of justice in Mexico.
Media Interview Topics
Cornelius can provide commentary on causes and consequences of Mexican migration to the United States; immigration policy in the United States, Japan, and Spain; the role of immigrant labor in the economies of the U.S. and other labor-importing countries; Mexican politics and development policy; and political participation of Mexican immigrants in Mexico and the United States.
The International Migration of the Highly-Skilled (co-editor), La Jolla, Calif.: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD, 2001.
Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective, 2nd edition, revised and expanded (co-editor), Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.
“Death at the Border: Efficacy and Unintended Consequences of U.S. Immigration Policy,” Population and Development Review, December 2001.
“Human Capital versus Social Capital: Immigrant Wages and Labor Market Incorporation in Japan and the United States” (co-author), in Jeffrey Reitz, ed., Host Societies and the Reception of Immigrants, 2003.
“Immigration and Politics” (co-author), Annual Review of Political Science (Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 2005), pp. 99-119.
“Controlling ‘Unwanted’ Immigration: Lessons from the United States,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 31, No. 4 (July 2005): 775-794.
“Immigrant Voting in Home-Country Elections: Potential Consequences of Extending the Francise to Expatriate Mexicans” (co-author), Mexican Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer).
Impacts of U.S. Immigration Control Policies on Mexican Migration: The View from Sending Communities (co-editor). La Jolla , Calif. and Boulder , Col. : Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD, and Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005.