Monica W. Varsanyi

Monica W. Varsanyi

Monica W. Varsanyi
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PhD     Geography, UCLA 
MA      Geography, University of Washington
BA       Geography-Environmental Studies and International Development Studies, UCLA


Monica Varsanyi is Professor of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY; and Professor of Geography and Executive Officer of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the CUNY Graduate Center.  She is a scholar of migration, membership, and the state, with a specific focus on unauthorized immigration, state and local immigration politics, and immigration federalism in the United States.  She is author of numerous journal articles, and her books include Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States (Stanford University Press, 2010, edited volume) and Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines (NSF-funded, with Doris Marie Provine, Scott Decker, and Paul Lewis; University of Chicago Press, 2016; winner of the "2018 Outstanding Book in Policing Award" by the American Society of Criminology).  Her current book project, with Marie Provine, traces the evolution of immigration policies and the tensions of immigration federalism as they have played out in New Mexico and Arizona from the Territorial Period to the present.  She is also working on a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project that explores the contentious evolution of Hispanic identity in New Mexico during various key moments in the twentieth century.  She is co-editor of the journal Territory, Politics, Governance, and serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers (the flagship journal in the discipline) and the sociolegal journal Law & Policy.  She also serves on the Research Advisory Board of the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City.  When she's not working, she enjoys being outdoors in the American West, backpacking, camping, hiking, trail running, bird watching, and skiing.     

Area of Expertise

Faculty Expertise: topics/keywords

Immigration federalism in the United States; geographies of citizenship and membership; law and society; state and urban politics and policy; research design.