CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Dr. Edelina Burciaga joins CUPC as faculty affiliate

Edelina Burciaga headshot

We would like to offer a very warm welcome to the newest CUPC affiliate, Dr. Edelina Burciaga!

Dr. Edelina Burciaga is an Assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver and a faculty affiliate in the Immigration and Citizenship Law Program at CU-Boulder Law. Dr. Burciaga’s research and teaching interests stem from her decade’s long experience working with undocumented young adults in the United States. In her most recent work, she examines the role of place, particularly state-level policies, in determining the experience of undocumented Latina/os in America. While a wide range of existing work focuses the experiences of undocumented young adults in California, Burciaga argues that little is known regarding if and how the state laws regulating immigrants impact their experiences of belonging and incorporation.

Her current book manuscript, tentatively titled, The Latino Undocumented 1.5-generation: Navigating Belonging in New and Old Destinations, fills this gap in the literature. Drawing on fieldwork and in-depth interviews of undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA, Burciaga uncovers how these young adults make meaning of the legal and social paradox of “growing up without papers in the United States.” Findings from this study have been published in several journals including MobilizationEthnicitiesLaw & Policy and the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal.

Burciaga is a former Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow (2015). Her past research has been supported by a wide variety of organizations including the National Science Foundation, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), and the Society for the Study of Social Problems among others. Dr. Burciaga holds two degrees from Stanford University (B.A./M.A.) as well as a law degree from the Boston University School of Law. Following her time as a public interest attorney with the Racial Equity unit at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Dr. Burciaga attended the University of California, Irvine where she received her Ph.D. in Sociology (2016).

Aside from her research and teaching duties, Burciaga is the co-chair of the Colorado Scholar Strategy Network (SSN). Launched in 2016, Colorado SSN connects scholars from across the state to get relevant research into the hands of policy makers. For more information on SSN Colorado and how you can get involved please visit

For more information on Dr. Burciaga’s work, please visit her website and follower her on Twitter @emburciaga.

Welcome to CUPC, Edelina!