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Oscar Ruben Cornejo Casares

Area(s) of Interest

Sociology of Immigration (Especially Undocumented Immigration); Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Sociology of Law

Current Research

Oscar’s dissertation, "The Life and Afterlife of Migrant Illegality,” explores the long-term, cumulative, and dynamic effects of legal status. The study is based on in-depth life history interviews of undocumented and formerly undocumented immigrants, as well as immigration law professionals, in the Chicagoland area. 


Oscar R. Cornejo Casares is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University, a Law & Science Doctoral Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a fellow with the Penn-Birmingham Transatlantic Migration Fellowship. His research agenda follows two broad research streams: (1) post-assimilation theories of immigration, race, and ethnicity as well as (2) the micro-sociology of migrant illegality. From 2019-21 Oscar served as the inaugural graduate student advisor for the Northwestern Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship as well as the 2021-2 Teaching Fellow for the Latina and Latino Studies Program. In 2019, his co-produced documentary, “Change the Subject,” was released, which documents the history and political efforts to replace the subject headings "illegal aliens" from the Library of Congress. Before coming to Northwestern, Oscar earned his B.A. in Sociology and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College where he was also a recipient of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.