Listed here are selected highlights from my curriculum vitae. To download a complete copy, please click here.
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Letters, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, 2018-
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), Princeton University, 2017-2018
PhD, Government, Cornell University, August 2017
MA, Government (American Politics/Comparative Politics), Cornell University, May 2014
BA (Hons.), Political Science and History, University of Texas - Pan American, May 2011
Dissertation: Broken Mirrors: Identity, Duty, and Belonging in the Age of the New La(tinx) Migra
Committee: Michael Jones-Correa (Chair); Suzanne Mettler; Richard Bensel
Summary: Latinx immigration enforcement officers occupy a unique position in the socio-political landscape of the United States. Simultaneously scrutinized for being too Latinx, and not Latinx enough, they are under constant pressure to negotiate multiple, overlapping and often contradictory social group memberships. How Latinx immigration officers internalize, and deal with such tensions is the central focus of my dissertation. What does it mean to be, simultaneously, the police and the policed, both the problem and the solution? How do Latinx immigration officers integrate or balance these cross-cutting social identities and the pressures they engender? How do such negotiations shape the discretionary exercise of authority, and by extension, the implementation and ultimate shape of immigration policy? And what do their experiences tell us about the boundaries of group membership in general and, more specifically, the contours and flexibility of Latinx identity? Drawing on 100 interviews with, and observations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers across Texas, Arizona, and California, I address these questions in order to explore the bounds of Latinx identity in the age of a growing ‘La(tinx) Migra.’
Cortez, David. 2020. "Latinxs in La Migra: Why They Join and Why It Matters." Political Research Quarterly.
Jones-Correa, Michael, Hajer Al-Faham, and David Cortez. 2018. "Political (Mis)behavior: Attention and Lacunae in the Study of Latino Politics." Annual Review of Sociology 44(1): 213-235.
Fellowships, Awards, and Honors
Migration: People and Cultures Across Borders Postdoctoral Fellowship, Princeton University (2017)
Sage Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Cornell University (2016)
American Political Science Association (APSA) Fund for Latino Scholarship Grant (2016)
Meigs American Politics Graduate Research Grant, Cornell University (2016)
Latina/o Studies Graduate Research Grant, Cornell University (2015)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2013-2016)
Houston I. Flournoy Graduate Fellowship, Cornell University (2014)
Department of Government Summer Funding for ICPSR, Cornell University (2013)
Sage Fellowship, Cornell University (2011-2012)
American Political Science Association (APSA) Minority Fellowship (2010)
American Political Science Association (APSA) Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (2010)
“Making La Migra Latinx: A Story of Existential Dependence,” Institute for Latino Studies Young Scholars Symposium, University of Notre Dame, April 26, 2019.
Criminal Justice in REP Research Roundtable, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 4, 2019
“Making La Migra Latinx: A Story of Existential Dependence,” Social Science Research Council Workshop, Immigration: The Politics of Inclusion and the Politics of Threat, Brooklyn, NY, March 29, 2019.
“Policing Their Own: Latinxs, La Migra, and the Conflict of Being Both,” American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA, August 30, 2018
‘My Face in the Mirror: Duality and Discretion in the New La(tinx) Migra,’ Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 8, 2017
‘Broken Mirrors: Identity, Duty, and Belonging in the New ‘La(tinx) Migra,’’ American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 2016
‘Vendidos, Race-Traitors, or Worse: Explaining the Rise of the La(tino) Migra,’ Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 9, 2016
‘Policing Identity: Organizational Culture and the (De)racialization of Law Enforcement,’ Symposium on the Politics of Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity (SPIRE), New Brunswick, NJ, May 10, 2013
‘Encountering the State: Police-Contact and Latinos’ Perceptions of Government,’ American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, August 29, 2013
‘Latino Americanism: Military Presence in the Barrio and in the Home,’ American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., September 2010
“Understanding The Border Patrol.” [Radio Interview] NPR Weekend Edition. July 7, 2019.
“I asked Latinos why they joined immigration law enforcement. Now I’m urging them to leave.” [Opinion Editorial] USA Today. July 3, 2019.