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Wallace's research focuses on Latino politics, immigration politics and policy, social movements, and representation. Her current research is focused on three main areas. One project examines Latino representation in Congress while another is on negotiations in Congress on immigration legislation. She is also working on a co-authored book examining the impact of the 2006 immigrant right protests on Latino identity, political participation, and political attitudes.
Utilizes original data from the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES) to study attitudes toward local/federal collaboration on immigration enforcement. Demonstrates that those who most recognize the racial advantage of Whites are significantly less likely to support collaboration between local police and federal authorities.
Examines the effects of protests on the strength of Latino racial identity. Tests whether Latino perceptions of racialization changed during the series of demonstrations and finds that both during and after the marches, Latinos possessed a greater sense of racialization than before the marches.
Analyzes the factors that led to an increased probability to introducing a copy-cat bill of Arizona's SB 1070. Indicates that Republican-led legislatures were significantly more likely to introduce such bills, as were places with higher unemployment rates.
Analyzes temporal and spatial variation in the effects of the immigrant rights marches in 2006 on Latino attitudes towards trust in government and self-efficacy. Finds that local proximity to small marches had a positive impact on feelings of efficacy, whereas large-scale protests led to lower feelings of efficacy.
Analyzes the 111th Congress to assess representation of Latinos by using an original data set of roll call votes and bill co-sponsorships on three high salience issues (immigration, labor, and education).
Uses original data to examine variation in racial and ethnic group and partisan attitudes toward legislators and representation. Finds that Latino and Black respondents place a high level of importance on having descriptive representatives in their own districts in addition to articulating a high degree of importance to having more representatives from their respective group in elected office.