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Jane Lilly López

Ph.D. candidate in sociology, UC San Diego

Residency: October 2016 - June 2017

Research Project: (Un)Authorized Love: U.S. Immigration Law and the Effects of Institutional (Dis)Approval on Mixed-Citizenship Families

Research Interests: international migration, sociology of law, citizenship, border studies, mixed-status families and legal consciousness


Jane Lilly López is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC San Diego. She received a master’s in evidence-based social work from the University of Oxford and has experience working in the nonprofit sector. Her dissertation examines citizenship, immigration and family law through the lens of mixed-citizenship couples living within and outside the U.S.

Based on interviews with mixed-citizenship couples, López analyzes the distinctions between individuals and family in the law and the extent to which those boundaries are (not) present in lived experience. She studies the effects of institutional (dis)approval on outcomes both within and between mixed-citizenship families and how those outcomes shape individual and familial sense of belonging, social integration and orientation toward the law. Through her project, López challenges the legal and rhetorical separation of immigrant and citizen, and individual and family, to refine theoretical understandings of assimilation, legal consciousness, citizenship and immigration. Her dissertation is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States.