Areas of Expertise & Civic InvolvementsCastañeda’s areas of expertise include migrant health, constructions of citizenship, and how policy and legal institutions shape everyday experiences of immigrant communities. Recent studies examine 1) mixed-status families in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; 2) the effects of the Affordable Care Act on immigrant communities; and 3) immigrant youth movements and experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in Texas and Florida; and 4) Central American transit migration in Mexico. Castañeda has worked with community organizations including La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), founded in 1989 by labor rights activist César Chávez in south Texas. She also supports and collaborates with other immigrant rights organizations in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
Documents everyday experiences of individuals and families across the U.S. as they attempted to access coverage and care in the five years following the passage of the ACA. It argues that while the Affordable Care Act succeeded in expanding access to care, it did so unevenly, ultimately also generating inequality and stratification.
Examines primary frameworks used in recent public health literature on the health of immigrant populations and argues for a broader examination of immigration as both socially determined and a social determinant of health.
Examines the discursive distinction between “voluntary” and “forced” migration and the consequences of this dichotomy for migrants’ experiences in host countries.