Vanessa Delgado

Vanessa Delgado, UCI sociology Ph.D. ’22, has been named recipient of the American Sociological Association Cristina Maria Riegos Student Paper Award for the second year in a row. The honor, awarded by the Latina/o Sociology Section, recognizes the first-generation college student for her paper, “Leveraging Protections, Navigating Punishments: How Adult Children of Undocumented Immigrants Mediate Illegality in Latinx Families."

In it, Delgado examines how adult children of immigrants manage parental illegality in Latinx immigrant families. “The findings suggest that citizens and DACAmented college students engage in distinct strategies when mediating illegality for their undocumented parents. Citizens attempt to leverage their protected legal status to help their undocumented parents become Lawful Permanent Residents and step in during situations where threats of deportation are imminent,” she says. “DACAmented young adults draw on their experience with legal precarity to help their undocumented parents navigate punishments associated with their immigration status. The strategies adult children of undocumented immigrants implement to negotiate illegality in their families highlights the need for policy addressing the legal vulnerability of undocumented and mixed-status families."

Delgado earned her undergraduate degree in sociology at Washington State University. This month, she successfully defended her dissertation, earning her Ph.D. in sociology. In the fall, she’ll be heading to Stony Brook University in New York as a postdoctoral fellow. She’ll be among those honored at the ASA annual meeting to be held August 5-9 in Los Angeles.


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