Vega’s postdoctoral project examines Latino immigration agents’ role in legitimizing, reproducing, and disrupting the United States’ racialized immigration control outcomes. Drawing on interviews and document analysis, Vega examines 1) whether Latino agents understand and execute their duties differently from non-Latinos and 2) how these agents shape Latino immigrants’ evaluations of procedural justice in the U.S. immigration system. Vega’s work produces a multi-dimensional account of the symbolic boundaries and substantive impacts that emerge when similarly-raced individuals meet on opposite sides of the state’s coercive power. She will report her results in a book, tentatively titled: “Policing Membership Across Borders: The Symbolic and Substantive Effects of Latinos in Immigration Control.” This book bridges parallel literatures on immigration control, representative bureaucracy, and procedural justice.
Vega will receive her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in June of 2017. She holds baccalaureate degrees in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies and a Master’s in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University. She also holds an MA in Educational Policy and Social Context from UC Irvine.