Lavariega Monforti

Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, California Lutheran University

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About Jessica

Lavariega Monforti’s research primarily focuses on the differential impact of public policy according to race, gender, and ethnicity. She is specifically interested in the political incorporation and representation of Latinos, immigrants, and women. Her latest research examines how major forces such as technology, the military system, and immigration policy impact and are impacted by Latino youth. She has worked with organizations such as Texas Rio Grande Legal Aide, La Union del Pueblo Entero, and the South Texas Adult Resource and Training Center.


An Over-Hyped Immigration Crisis

In the News

Opinion: "Latino Voters Care Little If Politicians Speak Spanish If They Can’t Speak to Their Concerns," Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Latina Lista, September 18, 2019.
Quoted by Joe Garofoli in "In VP Debate, Pence Calmly Parries Kaine’s Jabs at Trump," San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2016.
Quoted by Patrick Thibodeau and Sharon Machlis in "Trump's 'Extreme' Anti-Terrorism Vetting May be H-1B Nightmare," Computer World, August 16, 2016.
Guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, August 8, 2014.
Research discussed by Steve Taylor, in "Poll: Most Valley Residents Feel Less Safe," Rio Grande Guardian, July 23, 2014.
Guest on NBC Latino, February 2, 2013.
Quoted by John W. Gonzalez and Peggy Fikac in "Cruz Battles Critics Who Say He Isn't Hispanic Enough," Houston Chronicle, October 29, 2012.
Opinion: "Ted Cruz’s Success Has Nothing to Do with His Cuban-American Ethnicity," Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, New York Times, August 2, 2012.
Opinion: "Political Scientist Makes Case against Texas Voter ID Law," Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Austin American Statesman, July 14, 2012.
Opinion: "Can the Internet be a Door to Increased Latino and African American Participation?," Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti (with Jose Marichal), Latino Decisions, December 1, 2011.
Quoted by Oscar Corral in "Poll: Cuba's Just One of Many Issues," Miami Herald, March 10, 2006.


"Inevitable Change: A New Look at Cubans and Cuban Americans" in Minority Voting in the U.S., edited by Tom Baldino and Kyle Krieder (Preaeger, forthcoming).
Provides a review of original data discussing recent demographic and political changes among the Cuban American and Cuban exile communities.
"Identity Revisited: Latinos(as) and Panethnicity" in Latino Politics an Ciencia Política: The Search for Latino Identity and Racial Consciousness, edited by Tony Affigne, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, and Marion Orr (New York University Press, forthcoming).

Uses LNS data to re-test previously established hypotheses regarding pan-ethnic identification across Hispanic/Latino communities.

"Guarding Our Borders with Gardasil: Immigrant Women and Physical Autonomy" (with Renee Ann Cramer). Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy 35, no. 1 (2014).
Examines the interdependence of vaccine requirements, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the CDC, and its resulting requirement that Gardisil be administered to any woman immigrating to the United States or adjusting their status to legal permanent resident. This paper focuses on the Gardisil mandate as an issue of reproductive and personal autonomy denied to immigrant and prospective immigrant women today, and explores the astonishing silence on the issue from immigrant groups, reproductive rights advocates, and women's issue organizations.
"La Lucha: Latinas Surviving Political Science" in Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia, edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González, and Angela P. Harris (Utah State University Press, 2012).
Exposes the extent to which the intellectual and professional expertise of Latina faculty are consistently questioned by students and colleagues, whether their areas of teaching and research are in general U.S. politics or grounded in critical race and gender studies. While Latinas are often recruited as part of diversity efforts, their research and/or teaching may not be considered “credible” if they are race- and gender-specific; on the other hand, similarly, those whose areas of teaching and research are not race- or gender-specific are largely questioned on their ability to remain objective researchers.
"Diagnosing the Leaky Pipeline: Continuing Barriers to the Retention of Latinas and Latinos in Political Science" (with Melissa Michelson). PS: Political Science and Politics 41, no. 1 (January 2008): 161-166.
Discusses how Latinos continue to be severely underrepresented in political science, and today comprise less than 2% of the academy. Increased recent attention to the issues of recruitment and retention of Latino political scientists by professional associations such as the American Political Science Association (APSA) notwithstanding, the number of Latino scholars in the field continues to lag behind that of other racial and ethnic groups.
Black and Latino/a Politics: Issues in Political Development in the United States (edited with William E. Nelson and Jr.) (Barnhardt and Ashe Publishing, 2006).
Moves the discussion and analysis of Black and Latina/o politics from the shadows of current political analysis of the evolution of social, economic and political relations in the United States. The volume is organized with an eye to illuminating the critical importance of the search for Black and Latina/o political empowerment to an understanding of the evolution and character of the process of politics and governance in the United States.