B.A. in Sociology and History, Pomona College 2008
international migration, race/ethnicity, gender, social movements, education
My research focuses on the educational, economic, political, and social (e.g. dating) experiences of undocumented immigrant young adults who arrived in the U.S. as children. Through five projects, I have interviewed 268 individuals and conducted thousands of hours of participant-observationto assess the complex role of immigration status. I contribute to theoreticalunderstandings of immigrant incorporation – how individuals become part of or are excluded from U.S. society. Studying various aspects of immigrant incorporation has also encouraged me to engage multiple sociological areas of inquiry andcontribute to theories ofsocial movements, education, race, and gender. More generally, I shed light on how exclusion is (re)produced, and also challenged, through legal, economic, political, social, and cultural means.
My dissertation, Participating and Belonging without Papers: Theorizing the Tensions between Incorporation and Exclusion for Undocumented Immigrant Young Adults, examines the experiences of undocumented, Mexican-origin young adults who immigrated to the U.S. as children. Drawing on 124 in-depth interviews with 93 undocumented and 31 recently legalized young adults, I find that undocumented young adults experience incomplete incorporation because structural barriers prevent them from fully participating in society in the ways that they desire and expect.I contend that their level of incorporation is dependent, not only on their level of participation, but also on the feelings of belonging and exclusion it produces. While immigrant incorporation has traditionally been conceptualized as participation in various social institutions, I argue that we must also examine the importance of feelings of belonging and exclusion. This has critical implications for future studies of immigrant incorporation as it highlights the significance of structural and emotional exclusion and demonstrates the importance of disentangling these two aspects of incorporation.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Enriquez, Laura E. Forthcoming. “‘I’m Just Not Someone Who Believes in Stripping Away Human Rights:’ Building a Cross-Status Coalition Through Shared Ideology.” Social Problems.
Enriquez, Laura E. 2011. “‘Because We Feel the Pressure and We Also Feel the Support’: Examining the Educational Success of Undocumented Immigrant Latina/o Students.” Harvard Educational Review Special Issue on Immigrants in K-12 Education. 81(3): 476-500.
Ochoa, Gilda L, Laura E. Enriquez, Sandra Hamada, and Jenniffer Rojas. 2012. “Constructing Multiple ‘Gap[s]’: Reproducing Divisions and Disparities between Asian Americans and Latinas/os in a California High School.” In Transnational Crossroads: Reimagining Asian America, Latin@ America, and the American Pacific. Edited by Camilla Fojas and Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr. University of Nebraska Press.
Enriquez, Laura E. 2010.We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream by William Perez. Latino Studies 8(3): 421-423.
Works Under Review
Enriquez, Laura E. and Abigail C. Saguy. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Using Discursive Opportunities to Mobilize Undocumented Immigrant Youth." Under review at American Journal of Sociology.
Enriquez, Laura E. “Undocumented Love Lives: The Effects of Gender and Immigration Status on the Family Formation Experiences of Undocumented Young Adults.” Under review at Gender & Society.
Enriquez, Laura E. " 'I Talk to Them but I Don't Know Them': Undocumented Young Adults Negotiating Belonging in the U.S. through Conversations with Mexico." Preliminary acceptance for inclusion in Click and Kin: Transnational Identity and Quick Media. Eds. May Friedman and Silvia Schultermandl.
Works In Progress
Enriquez, Laura E. “Ambiguity, Liminality, and Difference: The Social Consequences of Educational Incorporation and Exclusion for Undocumented Young Adults in the United States.”
Enriquez, Laura E. “‘I Fit In [But] I Don’t Know If I Belong’: Undocumented Mexican-Origin Young Adults Navigating Belonging and Citizenship in the U.S.”
Enriquez, Laura E. “‘Border Hopping Mexicans’ and ‘Law-Abiding Asians’: The Racialization of Undocumented Immigration Status and Its Consequences for Undocumented Students.”
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship 2013-2014
UCLA Graduate Division Dissertation Year Fellowship 2013-2014
National Academy of Education Spencer Dissertation Fellowship (declined) 2013-2014
UCLA Del Amo Summer Fellowship 2013
UCLA Graduate Division Fellowship 2012-2013
UCLA Sociology Department Fellowship 2011-2012
Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship 2011
UCLA Graduate Student Summer Research Mentorship 2010, 2011
UC Diversity Initiative for Graduate Study in the Social Sciences Summer Fellowship 2009
Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (3 years) 2008-2011
UCLA Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship (declined) 2008-2009
Pomona College-Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship 2008
UCLA Institute for American Cultures: Asian American and Chicana/o Studies Centers Research Grant 2013
National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant 2012
University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States Dissertation Research Grant 2012
UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Graduate Student Small Research Grant 2009, 2012
American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship Alternate 2013
UCLA Center for the Study of Women Constance Coiner Graduate Fellowship 2012
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention 2008, 2010
California Sociological Association Student Award 2008
Pomona College Distinguished Sociology Thesis 2008
Pomona College Robert D. Herman Prize in Sociology 2008
Vilma Ortiz (chair), Min Zhou, Abigail Saguy, Leisy Abrego
“I Fit In [But] I Don’t Know If I Belong: Undocumented Mexican-Origin Young Adults Navigating Belonging and Citizenship in the U.S.” Forthcoming at the Illegality, Youth, and Belonging: International Symposium. Cambridge, MA. October 2013.
“The Social Consequences of Educational Incorporation and Exclusion for Undocumented Young Adults.” Forthcoming at the Segregation, Immigration, and Educational Inequality: A Multinational Examination of New Research Conference. Ghent, Belgium, September 2013.
“Navigating Legal Status and Exclusion: Undocumented Young Adults' Experiences of Parenthood.” at the American Sociological Association Conference. New York, NY, August 2013.
“Coming Out of the Shadows: Structural and Cultural Opportunities for Undocumented Student Mobilization.” First author with Abigail C. Saguy. at the American Sociological Association Conference. New York, NY, August 2013.
“Undocumented Love Lives: The Dating Experiences of Undocumented Young Adults” at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference. New York, NY, August 2013.
“I’m a Good Citizen, but I’m Not a Citizen:” Participation and Feelings of Belonging in the Undocumented 1.5 Generation.” at the UC-Wide Immigration Conference. Los Angeles, CA, February 2013.
“‘You Don’t Need Papers to Have a Kid’ but ‘It’s Twice as Hard’: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Undocumented Legal Status on Parenthood.” at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women Thinking Gender Conference. Los Angeles, CA, February 2013.
“Undocumented Love Lives: How Gender and Legal Status Intersect to Influence the Social Incorporation of Undocumented Mexican-Origin Young Adults in the United States.” at the Michigan State University Migration Without Borders Graduate Student Conference. Lansing, MI, October 2012.
“Coming Out as Undocumented: Creating Community and Counteracting Stigma in Daily Life and through Social Movement Participation.” First author with Abigail C. Saguy. at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference. Denver, CO, August 2012.
“Undocumented Intersectionality: The Experiences and Identities of Undocumented College Students.” at the American Sociological Association Conference. Denver, CO, August 2012.
“Circumventing the Effects of Legal Status: The Political Participation of DREAM ACTivists at a Southern California University.” at the American Sociological Association Conference. Las Vegas, NV, August 2011.
“Educate, Advocate, Dream: Developing an Action Plan to Support Undocumented Students.” Half-day workshop co-facilitated with Angela Chen, Miriam Feldblum, Sergio Marin, Matt Matera, and Maria Tucker at the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, March 2011.
“Circumventing the Effects of Legal Status: Coalition Building Between Undocumented and Citizen DREAM ACTivists at a Southern California University” at the UCLA IRLE Social Movements Graduate Student Conference. Los Angeles, CA, May 2010.
“Take the I-5 North: A Case Study of Undocumented California Students and Their Journey to Become Licensed Drivers” at the Undocumented Hispanic Migration Conference. New London, CT, October 2009.
“Living in a Glass Box: The Experiences of Undocumented Latina/o Students” at the American Sociological Association Conference. San Francisco, CA, August 2009.
“Legislated Dreams and Conditional Futures: The Effects of Ambiguous Legal Status of Undocumented Students” co-presented with William E. Rosales at the Negotiating Legal Boundaries Graduate Conference. Santa Barbara, CA, May 2009.
“Because We Feel the Pressure and We Also Feel the Support: Undocumented Latina/o Students' Educational Success” at the Pacific Sociological Association Conference. San Diego, CA, April 2009.
“Comparing ‘The Elite’ and ‘The Middle’: The Resource Differential Between Academic Programs,” co-presented with Markus Kessler at the California Sociological Association Conference. Riverside, CA, November 2008.
“Conditional Futures: The Gendered Hope of Undocumented Latina/o College Students in California,” at the Ford Foundation Fellows Conference. Washington D.C., September 2008.
“‘Una Mano No Se Lava Sola’: The Educational Experiences of Undocumented Latina/o College Students,” at the American Sociological Association Conference. Boston, MA, August 2008.
“Educating the Academic Elite in Systems of Inequality: The Hidden Curriculum of Academic Programs,” at the Pacific Sociological Association Conference. Portland, OR, April 2008.
Contributing Blogger for The Huffington Post - Latino Voices
How Can the U.S. Build a Better Immigration System?: Four Things that Need to be Addressed in U.S. Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Al Jazeera. April 19.
Enriquez, Laura E. 2012. “Lessons From the Field: Researching and Learning from Undocumented Young Adults.” CSW Update. UCLA Center for the Study of Women.
Bangalon, Abigail, Margarita Peralta, and Laura E. Enriquez. 2012. “Different Experiences, Similar Fears: Asian Pacific Islander and Latina/o Undocumented Student Experiences.” In Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cynthia Felix, and the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement. Edited by K. Wong, et al. Los Angeles: UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education.
Monroy, Edna, Magali Sanchez-Hall, Natalie Scheckter, and Laura E. Enriquez. 2012. “Voices of Undocumented Students Fighting for an Education.” In Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cynthia Felix, and the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement. Edited by K. Wong et al. Los Angeles: UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education.