I am a scholar of public health. My research seeks to understand the impact of the US immigration system on the well-being of immigrants and their families.

By examining citizenship and policy as systems of inequality, my work advances knowledge in three areas:

(1) health inequities based on citizenship/legal status

(2) how health inequities are driven by variation in state and local policies

(3) the social, institutional, and behavioral mechanisms that link immigrant policy and health inequities.

My studies have employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand how access to health care and health status are shaped by both federal policies, such as those that increase immigration enforcement, and state policies, such as those that restrict or expand rights and protections for noncitizens.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of California, Merced.

Contact me at mariaelena@ucmerced.edu.