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David Scott FitzGerald

Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations; Professor of Sociology; and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California-San Diego
Chapter Member: San Diego SSN
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About David

David Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego. His research analyzes policies regulating migration and refugees in countries of origin, transit, and destination, as well as the experiences of people on the move.

In the News

Opinion: "'Chain Migration' Doesn't Work the Way Trump Tells You it Does," David Scott FitzGerald, The Hill, February 4, 2018.
Research discussed by "Donald Trump Flushes Away America's Reputation," New York Times, January 12, 2018.
Quoted by Jean Guerrero and Leo Castaneda in "Decades-Long Struggle to Secure US-Mexico Border," KPBS, November 13, 2017.
Quoted by Jean-Philippe Dedieu in "Racism Interferes Easily and Regularly in Democratic Processes," Liberation, April 23, 2017.
Interviewed in "Trump's Bid to Control Mexican Immigration," ABC News, April 13, 2017.
Opinion: "Trump’s Immigration Order is Bad Foreign Policy," David Scott FitzGerald (with David Cook-Martin), The Conversation, January 29, 2017.
Opinion: "Walls are Not the Solution," David Scott FitzGerald (with Akos Rona-Tas), CNN, September 29, 2015.
Opinion: "Crime and Sanctuary: Amend Policies, Don't End Them," David Scott FitzGerald (with Angela S. Garcia), San Diego Union-Tribune, July 25, 2015.
Quoted by Kurt Chirbas in "California Measure Would Allow Work Permits for Farmworkers Here Illegally," Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2015.
Opinion: "This Proves Donald Trump is Lying: Here are the Actual Facts on Immigrants and Crime," David Scott FitzGerald, Salon, July 7, 2015.
Guest on KPBS, May 6, 2015.
Quoted by in "UC San Diego to Lead Major Project on Immigration," Imperial Valley News, March 15, 2015.
Quoted by Jennifer Oldman in "Immigrant Children Find U.S. Support as Some Officials Oppose Help," Bloomberg News, July 23, 2014.
Guest on UCSD-TV, July 7, 2014.
Guest on KPBS, April 22, 2014.
Research discussed by Bob Ortega, in "Border Security Faults May be Result of Poor Analysis," The Arizona Republic, July 20, 2013.
Opinion: "Making San Diego an International Hub," David Scott FitzGerald (with John D. Skrentny), U-T San Diego, July 3, 2013.
Research discussed by Nick Miroff, in "Canada's Guest Worker Program Could Become Model for U.S. Immigration Changes," Washington Post, January 5, 2013.
Research discussed by The Editors, in "The Ebbing Mexican Wave," The Economist, November 24, 2012.
Research discussed by Edward Helmore, in "Young Men in Mexico Say the U.S. No Longer Offers Them a Better Future," The Guardian, April 25, 2012.
Research discussed by Paloma Esquivel, in "Making the Border Less Enticing to Cross," Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2012.
Research discussed by Damien Cave, in "Migrants’ New Paths Reshaping Latin America," New York Times, January 5, 2012.
Research discussed by Damien Cave, in "Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North," New York Times, July 6, 2011.
Guest on CBS’ 60 Minutes, May 2, 2010.


"Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas" (with David Cook-Martin) (Harvard University Pres, 2014).
Questions the widely held view that in the long run democracy and racism cannot coexist. Shows that democracies were the first countries in the Americas to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states the first to outlaw discrimination. Through analysis of legal records from twenty-two countries between 1790 and 2010, the authors present a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere.
"Emigration’s Impacts on Mexico: A Sociology of Dissimilation" in How Immigrants Impact their Homelands, edited by Susan Eva Eckstein and Adil Najam (Duke University Press, 2013).
Argues that research focusing exclusively on how different migrant groups in the United States vary in their rates of assimilation misses a more profound story about the growing differences between emigrants and those who stay behind in countries of emigrant origin.
Recession Without Borders: Mexican Migrants Confront the Economic Downturn (edited with Rafael Alarcón and Leah Muse-Orlinoff) (Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, 2011).
Analyzes how the global economic recession beginning in late 2007 affected migration patterns, remittances, and economic survival strategies in a small town in Mexico and among its migrants living in California.
"Liberalism and the Limits of Inclusion: Racialized Preferences in Immigration Laws of the Americas, 1850-2000." (with David Cook-Martín). Journal of Interdisciplinary History 16, no. 1 (2010): 7-25.
Makes the case that against the prevailing wisdom, democratic countries in the Western Hemisphere were leaders in establishing racially-discriminatory laws of immigration and nationality, and laggards in removing those restrictions.
"A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration" (University of California Press, 2009).
Shows how the Mexican government and Catholic Church in Mexico have attempted to manage mass emigration over the last century and explains the dramatic shifts from policies attempting to dissuade emigration to policies attempting to use emigrants in the United States as a national resource for Mexico.
"Rethinking Emigrant Citizenship" New York University Law Review 81, no. 1 (2006): 90-116.
Analyzes the philosophical and historical sources of efforts to allow citizens abroad to gain a greater voice in their countries of origin.
"Transnationalism in Question" (with Roger Waldinger). American Journal of Sociology 109, no. 5 (2004): 1177-1195.
Argues that the ability of international migrants to politically engage their countries of origin is sharply constricted by the policies of countries of immigration, and that a decline in wars between countries, rather than new technology, is driving greater cross-border connections today.