This is a list of projects that are currently in progress and at various stages of development. If you are have questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact me.
Work in Progress
United We Stand: Latino Representation in Congress
The project centers on how Latinos are represented in Congress and whether they need Latino legislators. I theorize differences in observed behavior between Latino legislators and non- Latino legislators are a result of shared political group identity, linked fate, racialization in the internal and external environment, and group consciousness that Latino MCs share with the Latino public. These factors foster a deep connection between Latino legislators and Latinos in the community, and provide the fertile ground from which a commitment to representation develops. The book draws on a host of legislative data from over the last twenty years, with statistical analysis of roll call votes, committee actions, press releases, bill introductions and co-sponsorships, floor speeches and remarks, as well as interviews with Members of Congress and their staffs. I demonstrate that Latinos need Latino representatives to have their interests best served, although Democrats and specifically Democratic legislators of color can at times offer considerable substantive representation to Latinos. I put forth an argument that analyzing activity beyond roll call votes is necessary to reveal the multitude of ways Latino representatives behave differently than their non-Latino counterparts.
Immigration Reform: Failure and Success in Congress
This project seeks to address two research questions through the lens of 1980 onward. The first area of inquiry focuses on gridlock by asking what factors lead to the breakdown in negotiations between Members of Congress (MCs) on immigration? The second research question turns towards the conditions under which agreement has been reached in the past and is possible in the future, by asking how and under what conditions could coalitions in Congress form to pass various types of immigration bills? The project adopts a mixed-methods approach with the use of statistical analysis of votes, bill introductions, and co-sponsorships, text analysis of press releases and speeches in the House and Senate, in addition to archival materials, and interviews with members of Congress and their staffs. (Data collection stage)