Castañeda’s areas of expertise include migration, citizenship, health policy, and how legal institutions shape everyday experiences of immigrant communities. Recent studies examine 1) mixed-status immigrant families; 2) U.S./Mexico border enforcement and regional borderlands issues; 3) the effects of the Affordable Care Act on immigrant communities; 4) immigrant youth movements and experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in Texas and Florida; and 5) transit migration in Mexico. Castañeda has worked with community organizations including United We Dream, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), and La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), founded by labor rights activist Cêsar Chávez in south Texas.
Presents results from a longitudinal , five-year ethnographic study of healthcare access in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Explores reasons why this region along the U.S./Mexico border has the highest rate of uninsured persons in the country and remains among the most medically underserved, despite some increases in coverage accompanying the Affordable Care Act. Argues that the convergence of healthcare and immigration policy, framed by a unique regional history and social environment, has had multiple direct and indirect impacts on health and healthcare access.
Documents everyday experiences of individuals and families across the U.S. as they attempted to access coverage and care in the five years following the passage of the ACA. It argues that while the Affordable Care Act succeeded in expanding access to care, it did so unevenly, ultimately also generating inequality and stratification.
Examines the discursive distinction between “voluntary” and “forced” migration and the consequences of this dichotomy for migrants’ experiences in host countries.
Examines primary frameworks used in recent public health literature on the health of immigrant populations and argues for a broader examination of immigration as both socially determined and a social determinant of health.