Monica W. Varsanyi

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 Faculties in Geography and Criminal Justice at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Her research and teaching interests include immigration law and policy, and state and urban politics.  Her research agenda addresses immigration policy and politics in the United States in the context of federalism, both historically and in the present.  She explores the recent explosion of state- and local-level “immigration” policy-making in the face of Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, as well as the political and legal tensions that arise between cities, states, and the federal government in the nation’s changing immigration policy and enforcement landscape.  Her edited volume, Taking Local Control:  Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States was published by Stanford University Press in 2010, and a co-authored book Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines (with Doris Marie Provine, Scott Decker, and Paul Lewis) was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2016.  Her current research project, with Marie Provine, explores the tensions of immigration federalism as they play out in New Mexico and Arizona.  While on leave in 2015-7, she is a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society and the UC Berkeley Geography Department.    


Immigration/immigrant law, politics, policy (including implementation) at the local, state, and federal levels in the United States; law and society; state and local politics; urban politics and policy.