As the U.S. Senate prepares new immigration reform legislation and surprising statements of support emerge from the House of Representatives, public policy researchers at the University of California, Riverside have launched a new website that presents the latest research, data and scholarly commentary on policy issues related to immigrants.
The website, immigration.ucr.edu, is the digital home of UC Riverside's Immigration Research Group (IRG), which brings together public policy scholars and graduate students working on various aspects of immigration policy and immigrants.
“Our aim is to provide information and research on immigrants in the United States and elsewhere that is helpful to a variety of groups — including scholars, journalists, community organizations, government officials and the general public,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science and IRG director. “Our researchers are working on many of the same issues Congress wrestles with now, and that state and local governments have grappled with over the past two decades.”
Faculty from the group, launched three years ago, have so far received more than $1 million in grants to support research on immigration, immigrant integration, and civic engagement.
Research papers, maps and charts, and blog postings produced collectively by more than two dozen scholars — political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians and demographers — appear on the website. For example, new blog posts by Ramakrishnan and Loren Collingwood, assistant professor of political science, examine recent and surprising developments among California Republicans on immigration policy. Other publications examine the rise of immigration policy at the state level, immigration control across countries, and contours of public opinion on immigration in the United States.
Among ongoing research projects are the National Asian American Survey, a scientific and nonpartisan effort to poll the opinions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for which Ramakrishnan is the director and co-founder, and the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium, a multi-campus group that fosters research among graduate students and faculty alike.
The site also includes summaries of existing research on citizenship, immigrants and public opinion, immigrants and social movements, immigrants in wartime, and comparative immigration policy.
An IRG event at noon April 2 will feature Collingwood discussing how the political parties have traditionally represented their constituents on the issue of immigration and the role electoral competition plays on legislator votes. The event will be held in Watkins 2145 and is open to the public.