Els de Graauw

Els de Graauw

Professor of Political Science, CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
Chapter Member: New York City SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Els

De Graauw's research focuses on immigration, civil society organizations, urban politics, government bureaucracies, and public policy, with a focus on understanding how governmental and nongovernmental organizations build institutional capacity for immigrant integration and representation.


Refugee Resettlement Should Look Beyond First Job Placements

    Els de Graauw , Shannon Gleeson

Helping the Growing Ranks of Poor Immigrants Living in America's Suburbs

    Shannon Gleeson Irene Bloemraad

In the News

Els de Graauw quoted by Shirin Ali, "Refugees in the US Can’t Retain Employment for Long: Study Says" The Hill, February 11, 2022.
Els de Graauw quoted on President Trump's inaccurate statement that there is a California town where undocumented immigrants took over the town council by Peter Baker and Linda Qiu, "Inside What Even an Ally Calls Trump's 'Reality Distortion Field'" The New York Times, October 31, 2018.
Els de Graauw quoted on affordable housing when she was living in a "tiny house" in Berkeley while doing research in the California Bay Area. by Richard Scheinin, "Affordable Housing 101: Why Not Build More Granny Units?" The Mercury News, July 26, 2016.
"Municipal Card Programs in the United States," Els de Graauw, Interview with Henry Cooper, KPFT 90.1, March 24, 2015.
Els de Graauw quoted on San Francisco’s 2010 noncitizen voting measure, "Why Did Prop. D Fail?" Mission Local, November 12, 2010.


"Explaining Refugee Employment Declines: Structural Shortcomings in Federal Resettlement Support" (with Els de Graauw and Shannon Gleeson). Social Problems (2022).

Analyzes the over-time employment declines that refugees in the United States face, highlighting three interrelated structural weaknesses in the federal refugee resettlement process that drive these declines: (1) retrenched resettlement funding, (2) a logic of self-sufficiency prioritizing rapid employment in generally undesirable and unstable jobs, and (3) siloed networks of refugee-serving organizations.

"Mayoral Leadership, Immigrant Sanctuary, and Multilevel Policy Dynamics in San Francisco" Territory, Politics, Governance (2021).

Analyzes immigrant sanctuary policies in San Francisco between 1985 and 2018 to theorize the role of mayors in developing, defending, and adjusting city efforts to shield undocumented immigrants from federal immigration authorities. Identifies two mayoral leadership strategies—facilitative and executive—that vary with the level of scrutiny mayors face, from state and federal officials, over their lenient treatment of undocumented immigrants.

"The Illegality Trap: The Politics of Immigration & the Lens of Illegality" (with Michael Jones-Correa). Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 142, no. 3 (2013): 185-198.

Examines how the focus on undocumented immigration in contemporary immigration debates has serious negative consequences for both U.S. immigration policy and immigrants, including an overwhelming emphasis on enforcement; legislative gridlock and the failure of comprehensive immigration reform; constitutional conflict resulting from tensions between national, state, and local approaches to dealing with undocumented immigration; and the absence of federal policies addressing immigrant integration.

"Funding Immigrant Organizations: Suburban Free Riding and Local Civic Presence" (with Shannon Gleeson and Irene Bloemraad). American Journal of Sociology 119, no. 1 (2013): 75-130.

Identifies, through an examination of municipal public funding for community-based organizations that serve disadvantaged immigrants in four cities in the Bay Area region of Northern California, the phenomenon of suburban free-riding where suburban officials rely on central city resources to serve immigrants, but do not build and fund partnerships with immigrant organizations in their own jurisdictions.