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I am sociologist interested in international migration, refugee studies, childhood, the life-course, and law and policy. 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 chil-dren differ from adults as migratory actors and legal subjects in their own right.
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.
My book - Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in the US (forthcoming with University of California Press)- is an ethnography of the experiences of Central American unaccompanied minors and their immigration attorneys as they pursue applications for refugee status in the US asylum process. The book is based on research that I conducted over the course of six years, including extensive ethnographic fieldwork in non-profits in Los Angeles that help children apply for immigration relief and over 120 interviews with unaccompanied children, their attorneys, and other key actors.
I am currently working on two new collaborative research projects, using quantitative methods. Using administrative data from U.S. immigration courts, one project examines access to legal representation and determinants of case outcomes for unaccompanied minors. Using Mexican Migration Project survey data, a second project compares deter-minants of Mexican child and adult migration to the US, asking how these have evolved historically from the 1960s until today.
I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2020, and I was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell from 2020 to 2022. Before pursuing an academic career, I worked for non-profits and was a policy analyst for the Italian Na-tional Contact Point of the European Migration Network.
For up-to-date information about my research, collaborations, and publications, please visit: https://www.gallichiara.com/