Brown University shieldBrown University

Research Seminar with Leisy J. Abrego, “Legal Violence and the Study of Marginalized Communities: Research Challenges and Responsibilities”

Add event to my Google calendar Add event to my Google calendar Share this event on facebook E-mail this event
Friday, February 23, 2018 10:00am - 11:30am
CSREA, 96 Waterman Street, Providence RI

We invite faculty and students to join us for a research seminar with Leisy J. Abrego, Associate Professor in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, titled "Legal Violence and the Study of Marginalized Communities: Research Challenges and Responsibilities." Kindly RSVP to

Immigrants have been made vulnerable through the multi-layered, enforcement-centered immigration regime. Drawing on lessons learned over 17 years of research, this seminar invites participants to think with the speaker about the ethics of doing research on immigrant communities, particularly during a moment of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment and policies.


Leisy J. Abrego is Associate Professor in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. She is a member of the first large wave of Salvadoran immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Her research and teaching interests—inspired in great part by her family’s experiences—are in Central American immigration, Latina/o families, the inequalities created by gender, and the production of “illegality” through U.S. immigration laws. Her award-winning first book, Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders (Stanford University Press, 2014), examines the well-being of Salvadoran immigrants and their families—both in the United States and in El Salvador—as these are shaped by immigration policies and gendered expectations. Her early research examines how immigration and educational policies shape the educational trajectories of undocumented students. Her second book, Immigrant Families (Polity Press, 2016), is co-authored with Cecilia Menjívar and Leah Schmalzbauer and delves deeply into the structural conditions contextualizing the diverse experiences of contemporary immigrant families in the United States. More recently, Abrego has been writing about how different subsectors of Latino immigrants internalize immigration policies differently and how this shapes their willingness to make claims in the United States. Her current project examines the day-to-day lives of mixed-status families after DACA. Her scholarship analyzing legal consciousness, illegality, and legal violence has garnered numerous national awards. She also dedicates much of her time to supporting and advocating for refugees and immigrants by writing editorials and pro-bono expert declarations in asylum cases.

Series Information

The Critical Migration and Refugee Studies Series dynamically considers the crucial issues of racial, ethnicity and migration in the contexts of displacement. A CSREA Faculty Grant Event organized by Kevin Escudero, Assistant Professor of American Studies.