Bloemraad’s research examines the promise and challenges of reconciling contemporary immigration with democratic ideals of participation and equality. She studies both immigrants’ political integration – as citizens, voters, protestors and engaged community members – as well as native-born citizens’ reactions to immigration and diversity. Much of her research highlights the ways that social and public policy, around multiculturalism or the mitigation of economic inequality, eases tensions around diversity and democracy. In 2014-15, Bloemraad served as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' blue-ribbon panel reporting on the state of immigrant integration into U.S. society. She is Director of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative and also a Scholar with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She has held visiting research positions at the Institute on Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the Department of Sociology at Trinity College, Dublin.
Examines how potentially distinct "publics" or subgroups react, finding significant differences in frame resonance between groups distinguished by political ideology. Underscore the challenges confronting the immigrant movement and the need to reevaluate the assumption that historically progressive rights language is effective for immigrant claims-making.
Asks whether parents' legal status as noncitizens or undocumented migrants leads U.S.-born youth to engage in active, compensatory political and civic participation or whether parents' legal exclusion generates apolitical, even alienated views of citizenship.