López's research focus is on experiences at the intersection of immigration, citizenship, law, and the family. Her book, “Unauthorized Love: Mixed-Citizenship Couples Negotiating Intimacy, Immigration, and the State” (Stanford University Press) offers an intimate examination of the effects of US immigration laws on mixed-citizenship American families (families composed of individuals from two different countries/with two different citizenships) and calls for a rethinking of citizenship as a family affair.
Exposes the family-level effects of citizenship and reveals that immigration and citizenship laws focused on individuals can reach beyond those individuals to their family members. Argues that citizens in mixed-citizenship marriages are obliged by the law to live the immigrant experience because of their spouses’ immigrant status.
Examines how President Obama used executive action to secure support from Latino voters despite his inability to deliver comprehensive immigration reform.
Demonstrates that the experience of citizenship can be significantly enhanced or diminished without undergoing a change in personal legal citizenship status, but rather as a result of family-level citizenship.