My publications can be grouped into these general areas:

Immigration Policy       Public Opinion
Civic Engagement         Demography
Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

 

IMMIGRATION POLICY: NATIONAL AND LOCAL

2016. Chris Haynes, Jennifer L. Merolla, and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan.

Framing Immigrants:
News Coverage, Public Opinion, and Policy

(Russell Sage, 2016)

While undocumented immigration is controversial, the general public is largely unfamiliar with the particulars of immigration policy. Given that public opinion on the topic is malleable, to what extent do mass media shape the public debate on immigration? In Framing Immigrants, political scientists Chris Haynes, Jennifer Merolla, and Karthick Ramakrishnan explore how conservative, liberal, and mainstream news outlets frame and discuss undocumented immigrants. Drawing from original voter surveys, they show that how the media frames immigration has significant consequences for public opinion and has implications for the passage of new immigration policies.

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2016. Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan.

The President and Immigration Federalism
(Florida Law Review vol 68 issue 1)

This Article lays out a systematic, conceptual framework to better understand the relationship between federal executive action and state-level legislation in immigration. Prior immigration law scholarship has focused on structural power questions between the U.S. federal government—as a unitary entity—and the states, while newer scholarship has examined separation of powers concerns between the President and Congress. This Article builds on both of these traditions, focusing on the intersectional relationship between the federal Executive and subfederal lawmaking, which is an important yet overlooked dynamic in the resurgence of immigration federalism.

This Article’s analysis concludes that the President wields significant influence to bring coherency to immigration enforcement and instantiate a de facto national policy, using states to entrench his vision. In some circumstances, however, states may resist presidential action, thereby functioning as Congress’s proxy in separation of powers battles over immigration policy.

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2015. Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan.

The New Immigration Federalism
(Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Since 2004, the United States has seen a flurry of state and local laws dealing with unauthorized immigrants. Though initially restrictionist, these laws have recently undergone a dramatic shift toward promoting integration. How are we to make sense of this new immigration federalism? What are its causes? And what are its consequences for the federal-state balance of power?

In this book, we provide answers to these questions using a mix of quantitative, historical, and doctrinal legal analysis. In so doing we refute the popular argument of “demographic necessity” put forward by anti-immigrant activists and politicians. Instead, we posit that immigration federalism is rooted in a political process that connects both federal and subfederal actors: the Polarized Change Model. Our model captures not only the spread of restrictionist legislation but also its abrupt turnaround in 2012, projecting valuable insights for the future.

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2015. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Allan Colbern.

The California Package: Immigrant Integration and the Evolving Nature of State Citizenship

Policy Matters publication, examining a growing number of state laws–with California in the lead–that push toward greater immigrant integration, on matters ranging from in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented students, to expanded health benefits and access to driver’s licenses.

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2014. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Pratheepan Gulasekaram.

Understanding Immigration Federalism in the United States

Report for Center for American Progress, providing an overview of the rise of restrictive state legislation on immigration after 2004, and the subsequent wave in integration legislation starting in 2012.

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2013. Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan.

“Immigration Federalism: A Reappraisal,” NYU Law Review 88, 2074-2145.

This article identifies how the current spate of state and local regulation is changing the way elected officials, scholars, courts, and the public think about the constitutional dimensions of immigration law and governmental responsibility for immigration enforcement. Building on prior work, it presents an evidence-based theory of the process of state and local policy proliferation; it cautions legal scholars to rethink functionalist accounts for the rise of such laws; and it advises courts to reassess their use of traditional federalism frameworks to evaluate these subfederal enactments.

Article in NYU Law Review

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2012. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Pratheepan Gulasekaram.
“The Importance of the Political in Immigration Federalism” Arizona State Law Journal 44: 1431-1488.

This article offers empirical evidence and advances a theoretical argument about the importance of political dynamics (rather than demographic pressures) in the proliferation of state and local efforts on immigration control.

Article in Arizona State Law Journal

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2010. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Tak Wong. 
Partisanship, Not Spanish: Explaining Municipal Ordinances Affecting Undocumented Immigrants,”
In Monica Varsanyi, ed. Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

Chapter that examines the growth of local ordinances on immigration. Partisan composition of the electorate plays a more important and consistent role than demographic change in predicting these ordinances.

Chapter (pdf) in Taking Local Control (book link)
Note: Errata in Table 4.1 corrected in this digital copy

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2007. Lewis, Paul, and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan. “Police Practices in Immigrant-Destination Cities: Political Control or Bureaucratic Professionalism?” Urban Affairs Review 42:6, 874-900.

The gist of the article: Police departments are actually more involved and engaged with immigrant communities than many city councils. Survey and case study evidence from California.

Article in Urban Affairs Review

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2005. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Paul Lewis. Immigrants and Local Governance: The View From City Hall.

PPIC Report

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PUBLIC OPINION (back to top⇡)

2016. Chris Haynes, Jennifer L. Merolla, and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan.

Framing Immigrants:
News Coverage, Public Opinion, and Policy

(Russell Sage, 2016)

While undocumented immigration is controversial, the general public is largely unfamiliar with the particulars of immigration policy. Given that public opinion on the topic is malleable, to what extent do mass media shape the public debate on immigration? In Framing Immigrants, political scientists Chris Haynes, Jennifer Merolla, and Karthick Ramakrishnan explore how conservative, liberal, and mainstream news outlets frame and discuss undocumented immigrants. Drawing from original voter surveys, they show that how the media frames immigration has significant consequences for public opinion and has implications for the passage of new immigration policies.

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2012. Merolla, Jennifer, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Chris Haynes.
“‘Illegal,’ ‘Undocumented,’ or ‘Unauthorized’: Equivalency Frames, Issue Frames, and Public Opinion on Immigration” Perspectives on Politics 11(3): 789-807.

This article examines the framing of immigration in news media and public opinion. We differentiate between equivalency frames (references to illegal vs. undocumented vs. unauthorized immigrants) and policy frames (references to amnesty or pathways to citizenship, for example). We find that, despite the intense attention by advocates to terms such as illegal and undocumented, these equivalency frames have a limited effect on public opinion. By contrast, policy frames have much stronger effects.

Article in Perspectives on Politics

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2011. Junn, Jane, Taeku Lee, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Janelle Wong.
“Asian American Public Opinion.”
In Robert Shapiro and Lawrence Jacobs, eds., The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media, pp. 520-534.

Chapter on Asian American Public Opinion

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2009. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, Janelle Wong, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn.
“Race-Based Considerations and the Obama Vote: Evidence from the 2008 National Asian American Survey”
DuBois Review 6:1, 219-238.

Our first publication from the 2008 National Asian American Survey. Article shows that race-based considerations did matter for the Asian American vote, but that the effects were very small when compared to other factors like partisanship and issue preferences.

Article in DuBois Review

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CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (back to top⇡)

2016. Unequal Voices: A Series of Reports with Advancement Project on Racial Disparities in Civic Participation in California.

Unequal Voices, Part I: California’s Racial Disparities in Participation

Findings from 2004 to 2014 on racial disparities in voting and other forms of political participation, primarily using data from the Current Population Survey. 

Unequal Voices, Part II: Who Speaks for California?

Findings from Fall 2016 on racial disparities in various types of political activities, with differences across racial groups, and across national origins for the Asian population. We find that racial disparities are strong for a range of activities, and they get reproduced in the millennial generation. We analyze the reasons for these disparities and, importantly, offer concrete suggestions to boost political participation.
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2011. Wong, Janelle, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn.

Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities.
New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Chapter 1 (Intro) that lays out the chapters and the theoretical argument
Link to Russell Sage publications page
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2010. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Celia Viramontes.

“Civic Spaces: Mexican Hometown Associations and Immigrant Participation”
Journal of Social Inquiry 66:1, 155-173.

This article notes that the dual marginalization of Mexican hometown associations (HTAs) has some counterintuitive advantages, namely the creation of safe spaces where undocumented immigrants, recent immigrants, and those with limited English proficiency can get involved in civic and political activities..

Article in Journal of Social Inquiry

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2008. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Irene Bloemraad, eds.
Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations, and Political Engagement (Russell Sage Foundation).

Chapter 1 (Intro) that lays out the chapters and the theoretical argument
Link to Russell Sage publications page
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Inland Gaps: Civic Inequalities in a High Growth Region

Disparities in civic and political engagement in the Inland Empire region (funded by the James Irvine Foundation). The results from the survey can be found here. Report from PolicyMatters.

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2006. Lee, Taeku, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Ricardo Ramirez, eds. Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States (University of Virginia Press).

Now in Paperback

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2006. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Celia Viramontes. Civic Inequalities: Immigrant Volunteerism and Community Organizations in California.

PPIC Report

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2005. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick. Democracy in Immigrant America (Stanford University Press).

Amazon Page     Supplemental Tables

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2004. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Mark Baldassare. The Ties That Bind: Changing Demographics and Civic Engagement in California.

PPIC Report

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2001. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick and Thomas J. Espenshade. “Immigrant Incorporation and Political Participation in the United States,” International Migration Review 35:3, 870-909.

Article in International Migration Review

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2001. Lien, Pei-te, Christian Collet, Janelle Wong and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan. “Asian Pacific American Public Opinion and Political Participation,” PS: Political Science and Politics 34: 3, 625-630.

Article in PS: Political Science and Politics

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DEMOGRAPHY (back to top⇡)

2005. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Hans Johnson. Second-Generation Immigrants in California.

PPIC Report

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2004. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick. “Children of Mixed Nativity: Accounting for the ‘2.5 Generation’,” Social Science Quarterly 85:2, 380-399.

Article in Social Science Quarterly

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ASIAN AMERICANS & PACIFIC ISLANDERS (back to top⇡)

2014. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick and Farah Ahmad.

State of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Report for Center for American Progress covering various indicators and outcomes related to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including growing numbers, educational attainment, health outcomes, and public opinion.

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2014. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick.

“Asian Americans And The Rainbow: The Prospects and Limits of Coalitional Politics,” Politics, Groups, and Identities 2(3): 522-529.

Asian Americans voted in record numbers for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, joining Latinos and African Americans in their strong support for the United States’ first black president. Was Asian American participation in this cross-racial coalition confined to the Obama candidacy, or was it more fundamentally rooted in policy commitments and feelings of solidarity with other minority groups? This article addresses these questions by analyzing public opinion data from the National Asian American Survey, and drawing attention to the 2014 fight over affirmative action in California.

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2014. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick.

“Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Urgency of Public Relevance,” Journal of Asian American Studies 17(1): 91–94.

There are a host of reasons why the social sciences and humanities are under greater scrutiny and pressure than ever before. The soaring cost of higher education has certainly played a role, as those footing the bill—from parents and students to taxpayers and legislators—increasingly expect to see a tangible (read monetary) return on their educational investment. At the same time, the relative insulation of faculty in the humanities and social sciences is also partly to blame. Our fields have grown increasingly specialized and professionalized, and our language has become increasingly technical and jargonistic—isolating us not only from each other but also from the larger communities in which we operate.  This article offers suggestions on how to rectify this situation.

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