Headshot of Caitlin Patler

Research Expertise and Interest

US immigration and criminal laws, legal statuses, law enforcement institutions

Research Description

Caitlin Patler is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, and a faculty affiliate of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI). Dr. Patler is a sociologist whose research examines US immigration and criminal laws, legal statuses, and law enforcement institutions as drivers of socioeconomic and health disparities. Dr. Patler also studies the spillover and intergenerational consequences of systemic inequality for children and household wellbeing. Dr. Patler has received multiple grants and awards for her research on undocumented immigrant young adults, the impacts of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the US immigration prison system. She serves on the Editorial Board of Social Problems. 

Dr. Patler has served as an expert in over a dozen federal court cases related to immigration policy and her research has been cited in the US Supreme Court and in federal rulemaking. She regularly provides expert briefing on immigration issues to state and local lawmakers. She has authored policy briefs and op-eds, including a New York Times op-ed on the imprisonment of immigrant children. Dr. Patler works closely with local, state, and federal organizations working to advance immigrants’ rights through policy. 

Prior to joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 2023, Dr. Patler was Chancellor’s Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Davis, where she helped found the Global Migration Center. 

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