I’m a second-year PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology at Rice University. My dissertation project is situated on the Tamaulipas-Texas border where I’m investigating issues of transnational im/mobility, illegality, criminality, and asylum in the US and Mexico. Particularly, my dissertation project strives to understand the migrant/refugee movements to seek US asylum under the restrictive policies known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). As a result of MPP, migrants/refugees become stuck in transit in Mexico. My project asks how migrant/refugee subjectivities reconfigure as they become temporarily settled in—and spatially rearrange—border cities like Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, without being able to move towards the US. I am interested in the spatio-temporal dimensions of their experiences while waiting for asylum hearings at international bridges and the Rio Grande and how forms of transnational humanitarianism are manifesting as a response to these movements. Despite their victimization in mainstream media, migrants/refugees enact agency alongside activists mobilizing around them. As they occupy and build camps near ports-of-entry, transnational networks of solidarity, processes of transculturation, and experiences of il/legality unfold among mobile Central/Latin American and African populations attempting to make a living, interacting with and changing the riverine landscape, while stuck in transit. Another line of investigation considers the (dis)connections between militarized policing and migration management by both Mexican and US governments, migrant/refugee movements, and human smuggling.
At Rice I’m involved in the Center for the Study is Women, Gender and Sexuality and Center for Critical and Cultural Theory certificate programs and the Latin American and Afro-Indigenous Latinx Studies Working Group. I’m also a Teaching Assistant for Rice Online.
I received my BA in Anthropology from The University of Texas-Pan American and my MA in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where I worked as a Curatorial Assistant in the Border Studies Archive and Graduate Student Instructor in the Mexican American Studies program.