I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University (beginning Fall 2017). My book manuscript, "Today’s Runaway Slaves: Unauthorized Immigrants in a Federalist Framework," explores the historical-political development of sanctuary laws and engages in long-standing debates about American federalism, immigration law, civil rights and racial politics. It reveals how sanctuary laws are historically important features in American federalism that protect runaway slaves (1780-1860), Central American refugees (1979-1997) and undocumented immigrants (2000-present) from re-enslavement and deportation, and facilitate inclusive communities, non-discrimination and equality. My broader research interests include:
American Political Development
Drawing from my book project, I have published pieces in Monkey Cage and Politics of Color on how state and local sanctuary policies are well established features in America's federalist system.
With Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Riverside), I am also working on a co-authored book project examining how today's state integration policies raise new notions of state level citizenship, especially when placed in a larger historical and theoretical context of what states have done, and can still do, with respect to expanding rights and benefits for immigrants that exceed those set by the federal government. From our project, we have published a peer reviewed policy report, "The California Package: Immigrant Integration and the Evolving Nature of State Citizenship" (featured in the Los Angeles Times in June 2015 and August 2015) and other policy reports.
- PhD, in Political Science (2017), University of California, Riverside
- Visiting Graduate Student (2014-2016), Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego
- MA, in Political Science (2011), University of California, Riverside
- BA, in Political Science and History (2005), University of California, Berkeley
Outside the academy, I am an ultra trail distance runner. I recently completed the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run (2015), the Old Goats 50 Miler (2015, 2014, 2012) and the San Diego 50 Miler (2015). My lovely wife, Shima Kalaei, is a practicing attorney in estate planning at DenHerder & Associates, and we have a beautiful 10 month old daughter, Maya.