Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Patler's research explores citizenship and legal status as axes of stratification that significantly shape opportunities for mobility. She is currently conducting longitudinal mixed-methods research studies on: 1) immigration detention, deportation, and the intersections of immigration and criminal law, and 2) the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Patler’s research has been cited in two recent Supreme Court cases (Jennings v. Rodriguez and United States v. Texas) in support of immigrant rights. Her research and teaching are informed by over 15 years of work with immigrants’ rights organizations focused on immigration detention, access to education for undocumented youth, and low-wage labor markets. She has also volunteered with No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid organization on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Finds that detainees held in private facilities have more limited access to child visitation than others. Also finds that detainees with undocumented children receive relatively fewer visits than those without undocumented children.
Provides the first statistical analysis of the impacts of DACA on psychological wellbeing. Finds that Latino immigrants with DACA in California are less likely to report distress, negative emotions, and worry about self-deportation, but remain worried about the deportation of family members.
Analyzes how national undocumented youth organizations in the United States use normative notions of citizenship, which are also embedded in laws and policies governing immigration, to make claims against deportations.
Presents findings from the first study of long-term immigrant detention in the United States. Finds that detention generated severe economic hardship for detainees and their families.
Presents findings from research on the impacts of DACA program. Discusses education, employment, and health, among other outcomes. Makes recommendations for policies that could address some of the barriers faced by undocumented youths and their families.
Analyzed English-language print and online coverage of undocumented immigrants whose anti-deportation campaigns were led by national undocumented youth organizations in the U.S. Finds that campaigns for undocumented students were more likely to receive coverage than those of non-students. Regardless of a mention of educational status, articles included pro-immigrant quotes four times more frequently than anti-immigrant quotes. News coverage of anti-deportation cases represented citizenship in three related ways: citizenship as acculturation, citizenship as civic engagement (or ‘good citizenry’) and deservingness vis-à-vis victim status.