Schachter has expertise in the integration of immigrants in the United States and the implications of immigrant-native relations for inequality and group politics. Her current work focuses on how native-born Americans react to immigrants and their descendants as they achieve social mobility, as well as how immigrants view and relate to native-born Americans.
Utilizes the case of Indian immigrants to the United States to challenge the notion that panethnic identities are an inevitable result of assimilation by showing that more assimilated Indian immigrants who live among large, non-Indian Asian populations are the least likely to identify panethnically.
Challenges the idea that exposure to growing local immigrant population causes non-Hispanic whites to change their views on immigration by showing that whites who dislike immigration tend to move out of neighborhoods with growing immigrant populations and move to places with smaller immigrant communities. This selection process leads to a sorted population, where whites opposed to immigration live in places with fewer immigrants, while whites with more liberal immigration attitudes remain in areas with larger immigrant populations.
Demonstrates how native-born, non-Hispanic whites react to immigrants and their descendants as they achieve social mobility, highlighting the strong stigma of undocumented legal status as well as the complex ways that race/ethnicity shape how Americans relate to one another.