I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago in the Comparative Human Development Department.
I'm also Faculty Scholar with the American Bar Foundation's (ABF) Access to Justice Scholars Program for 2023-2024. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles in 2020 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell from 2020 to 2022.
My research is situated in the fields of international migration, refugee studies, law & society, gender, children & youth, the life course, and families. I study the legal and political struggles that lie at the heart of classifying migration flows, how immigration laws shape people's lives, and how children differ from adults as migratory actors and legal subjects. My research has been generously funded by several agencies, including the National Science Foundation, and has been published in the journals Social Problems, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, as well as in book chapters and policy reports.
I am the author of the book, Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in the United States (University of California Press. 2023), an ethnographic study that chronicles the experiences and perspectives of Central American unaccompanied minors and their immigration attorneys as they pursue applications for refugee status in the US asylum process.
My current research includes two major studies. First, with the support of the ABF and in collaboration with Tatiana Padilla (Cornell), we are studying access to legal representation and determinants of case outcomes for unaccompanied minors in the U.S. immigration court using a large administrative dataset. Second, with a team of research assistants, I am conducting an ethnographic study on the reception of asylum-seekers in Chicago.
Before pursuing an academic career, I worked for non-profits and was a researcher for the Italian National Contact Point of the European Migration Network.