Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

About

Victoria is a political scientist that got the political nerd bug in middle school student council. Today she hangs her hat at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and engages in political wonkiness on MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. more→

Research

Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding the politics, policies and people that shape our fascinating yet frustrating political landscape. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, political psych, & elections.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Let me be clear, I am no fan of President Trump’s immigration rhetoric and recent immigration executive orders. But in looking at the recent immigration enforcement surge we need to take three deep breaths and separate known facts from speculation as we remain vigilant.

First, the facts. During the week of February 9, 2017 there was an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) surge. Preliminary information from ICE indicates that this was a targeted enforcement sweep of immigrants defined as criminals.

Coordinated ICE sweeps targeting undocumented criminals are nothing new. Such surges took place routinely during the Obama administration.

For the sake of comparison let’s zoom in on the Los Angeles sector – one of the most immigrant populous regions of the country. Less than a year ago, in mid July of 2016, 112 foreign nationals were apprehended in an ICE sweep targeting at-large criminals. About half of these individuals had felony convictions and the remaining had misdemeanors. Last week in the same Los Angeles sector, 160 foreign nationals were apprehended; of which 150 had criminal histories and five had final orders of removal. (more…)

This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com

President-elect Trump’s immigration enforcement is about to come to a city near you, well, at least if you find yourself in one of the 300 sanctuary cities across the country.

What is a sanctuary city? There’s not one official definition but it’s basically municipalities that don’t alert federal authorities about people in their city who lack legal status or go out of their way to find them.

Beyond the shorthand of what side of the immigration debate you’re on—if you want to build the wall or prefer comprehensive immigration reform—most of us aren’t versed in the policy technicalities of how extensively local and federal immigration law enforcement authorities work together. It’s not a one-size-fits all concept.

Nevertheless, President-elect Trump on his first day in office will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities. Just to name two of the biggies, there’s Los Angeles receiving half a billion and New York with $10 billion in federal funding.

President-elect Trump’s punishment to sanctuary cities is both steep and nonsensical.

To begin, sanctuary cities are not a shield against deportation. If a person is undocumented and resides in one of the 300 sanctuary entities, they do not get a “pass.” Federal immigration law enforcement can come to a person’s home, work, you name it, and execute a deportation order anywhere in the United States. (more…)