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Yalidy Matos, Ph.D.

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Country: United States (New Jersey)

About Me:

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I graduated from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH with a PhD in Political Science, and Connecticut College in New London, CT with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Gender and Women’s Studies, and a minor in English. Originally from Dominican Republic, Yalidy is passionate about complicating the ways in which Americans think about immigration and immigrants.

Research Interests

Immigration & Citizenship

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Public Opinion

Specific Areas of Interest

Latino Politics

Immigration Policy

Political Psychology

Survey Research

Experimental Research

Countries of Interest

United States

My Research:

My scholarly work examines the intersections between race, ethnicity, and (im)migration. By drawing on theoretical frameworks from political science, sociology, political psychology, and history, I use a mixed methods approach to understand the racialized nature of the geography of immigration policies and contemporary restrictive immigration policy attitudes in the United States. I have developed a historically-based theoretical framework that stresses the continued significance of race and racial projects in policies and discourse around immigration. Discourse, policies, and preferences about immigration are salient topics in American politics today. Thus, any exploration of public opinion about immigration policy requires knowledge of the deeply-rooted history of racial and ethnic groups (and the policies that have and continue to govern their lives) in the United States. I am especially interested in analyzing the ways in which racial and ethnic groups use policy to either maintain or change the status quo.


Journal Articles:

(2017) Geographies of Exclusion: The Importance of Racial Legacies in Examining State-Level Immigration Laws, American Behavioral Scientist

Tags: Race, Ethnicity and Politics, Immigration & Citizenship, State and Local Politics

In this article, I examine the decisions of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah, Indiana, and most recently, Texas to pass restrictive immigration omnibus bills and analyze the factors associated with the decision of a state to pass its own immigration law, sometimes without explicit warrant. I focus on state omnibus legislation for two main reasons. First, this type of legislation has been the focus of much media attention. Second, omnibus legislation mimics comprehensive immigration legislation over which the federal government has sole authority. Additionally, I focus on the regional proliferation of restrictive immigration laws, and then bring my attention to the seven states that passed similar legislation. Individually, I examine the roll call votes by each state’s House of Representatives. By looking at immigration politics at a sub-national level, this article provides a more nuanced understanding of the political and ideological work of immigration policies. I argue that contemporary immigration politics at sub-national levels should not only be understood as a story about demographic changes and strictly partisan politics but also a story about the sociohistorical legacies of localities. The historical processes of race, and the differing ways in which places get racialized, influences, beyond partisanship, which representatives voted for and against restrictive immigration legislation. These differences, alongside state-level differences, I argue, continue to affect politics and policy today. Immigration policy has become a vessel through which to contest the" "politics of race, place, and power."