Monica W. Varsanyi

Monica W. Varsanyi

Associate Professor
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PhD     University of California, Los Angeles
MA       University of Washington
BA       University of California, Los Angeles


Monica Varsanyi is Associate Professor of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and a member of the Doctoral Faculty in Geography at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Her research addresses the politics of unauthorized (or ‘illegal’) immigration in the United States, specifically the growing tensions between local, state, and federal governments over immigration policy and enforcement.  Her teaching interests include urban politics, immigration law and policy, and research design and methods.  She is currently working on two related projects:  one that explores growing tensions between local and state grassroots immigration policy activism and the U.S. federal government’s plenary power over immigration; and second, an NSF-funded project that explores the expanding involvement of city police in immigration enforcement and the impact this is having on the relationship between local police and (unauthorized) immigrant communities.  Her edited volume, 

Taking Local Control:  Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States was published by Stanford University Press in 2010.  She has also published extensively in academic journals, as well as in popular outlets like the Los Angeles Times. 



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