Current Research Projects

1. Status Regularization Programs in South America and Mexico

Southern countries, similarly to the countries of the Global North, face a challenge of how to respond to the increasing levels of undocumented migration without compromising national security on the one hand and migrants’ human rights on the other. Regularization programs that allow undocumented migrant to obtain a kind of a legal status, has been one such response. In Latin America, for instance, regularization programs have been launched in such countries as Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. At the same time, scholarly literature on such programs is extremely scant and insufficiently theorized.

Drawing on the governmentality literature and employing a critical ethnography and a critical discourse analysis, the main objective of this comparative study on status regularization initiatives in three Latin American countries is to address this gap in well-theorized scholarly analyses of regularization programs in the Global South. I will explore: (1) governing rationalities that shape decisions to implement status regularization programs in these countries  and specific program designs; (2) specific mechanisms employed to carry them out; (3) the role of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and IOs (international organizations) in the program design and their assistance in program implementation; (4) obstacles migrants’ encounter when they attempt to legalize their status; (5) migrants’ strategies to overcome the obstacles and their perceptions of the benefits and downfalls of the regularization program; and (6) the impact of the programs on undocumented migrants. 

2. Being an International Student in Windsor: Experiences of Studying, Living, and Volunteering (in collaboration with Glynis George)

Canada and other Northern countries have been actively promoting immigration of highly skilled labour. To attract young skilled workers, Canada has established pathways for international students to apply for permanent residence. At the same time, international students have become an increasing source of new revenues, partnerships, and internationalization efforts pursued by Canadian Universities.  Despite these trends, scholarship on international students in Canada is relatively scant.  This exploratory project will document and examine various aspects of international students’ experiences in Canada, including: (1) reasons for coming to study in Canada; (2) intentions of staying in Canada; (3) social integration; (4) difficulties encountered in Canada and ways of overcoming them; and (5) perceptions of belonging in a new society. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests that many international students engage in voluntary work, and by conducting this study, we hope to understand why. More specifically, do will explore to what degree international student see voluntary work as a way to: (1) make new friends; (2) integrate themselves into the new society; (3) learn about the Canadian culture; (4) acquire work-related experience; (5) improve Canadian job prospects; and (6) obtain Canadian residency.