Laura Enriquez

Laura Enriquez’s Of Love and Papers: How Immigration Policy Affects Romance and Family has been named the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc’s Book of the Year recipient in the Early Career Category. The award is the fourth she’s received for her 2020 book that explores how immigration policy is fundamentally reshaping Latino families and perpetuating inequality. In 2021, she received the American Sociological Association William J. Goode Book Award from the ASA Family Section and the Distinguished Book Award from the Latina/o/x Sociology Section. She was the Silver Medal recipient for the 2021 Victor Villaseñor Best Latino Focused Nonfiction Book Award in English awarded by the International Latino Book Awards. 

Her work draws on more than 150 interviews with Southern California undocumented Latina/o young adults and their romantic partners to determine the extent to which citizenship status impacts love and family. Her findings detail how the far-reaching issues of financial insecurity, deportation threats, inability to access state-issued identification and limited pathways to legalization constrain relationships of undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizen partners alike, with enduring effects over time and into the next generation.

Enriquez joined the UCI faculty in 2015 after completing her Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA. She specializes in research on the educational, political, and social experiences of undocumented young adults and members of mixed-status families. She's currently the principal investigator on the Undocumented Student Equity Project and UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity, research initiatives that examine how immigration policies disrupt the educational experiences and wellbeing of undocumented college students and students from mixed-status families. A former Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellow, UCI Chancellor’s ADVANCE Postdoctoral Fellow, and current National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, Enriquez’s work has been supported by the American Sociological Association, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, the Haynes Foundation, UC Institute for Mexico and the United States, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and the University of California Office of the President. In 2020, she was awarded the UCI Academic Senate Early-Career Faculty Award for Research.

Enriquez will be honored for her work at the AAHHE annual conference held in March in Henderson, Nevada.

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