Joanna Dreby, an associate professor of sociology at the University at Albany, is available to speak about immigration. In a recent Letter to the Editor in response to an elected official suggesting that legalization is a “choice,” Dreby said:

"Immigration law does not allow people the choice to legalize their immigration status. They are either eligible or not eligible for legalization. This is the fact of why so many who are undocumented today have been here without a status for more than 10 years. They cannot legalize. They are ineligible for any form of immigration status. They have no option to legalize even in cases when they are married to U.S. citizens or have U.S. citizen children. They are ineligible even when working for years in economic sectors that rely on their labor. In fact, those who are "illegal" in the United States most often came in the first place without a legal status precisely because our policies denied them a visa and the opportunity of migrating legally, largely due to their country of origin or class status. It is as far from a choice as one can get. This is why today's migration system is broken. Legalization is not a choice."

Dreby’s research focuses on family dynamics under conditions of increased globalization, with specific expertise in research with Mexican migrants and their children. If you would like to set up a time to speak with Professor Dreby, contact Kelsey Butz.