Allan Colbern is a Lecturer in Politics at Pomona College and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UC San Diego, where he is working on his book manuscript, "Today’s Runaway Slaves: Unauthorized Immigrants in a Federalist Framework," which explores the historical-political development of state sanctuary laws and engages in long-standing debates about American federalism, immigration law, “rights” and racial politics. Colbern's work reveals the historically important role sanctuary laws have had for insulating runaway slaves and undocumented immigrants from re-enslavement and deportation, while also facilitating inclusive communities, non-discrimination and equality. His broader research interests include:
American Political Development
Immigration Policy (national, state & local)
Drawing from his book project, "Today's Runaway Slaves," Colbern 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.
He is also collaborating with Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Riverside) 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 this project, they 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).
Colbern was also a researcher on the University of California's collaborative immigration project, where he led in a systematic review of the secondary scholarship on immigrant integration in California from 1848 to 2015 under the direction of Professor David FitzGerald (UC San Diego).
- PhD, in Political Science (Winter 2017), University of California, Riverside
- MA, in Political Science (2011), University of California, Riverside
- BA, in Political Science and History (2005), University of California, Berkeley
Outside the academy, Colbern is an avid ultra trail distance runner. He 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). His next race is the Cuyamaca 100k in October, 2016. Colbern is married to Shima Kalaei, a practicing attorney in estate planning at DenHerder & Associates, and has a beautiful 4 month old daughter.