Scholars Taking Action For Families (STAFF)

Scholars Taking Action For Families (STAFF) was formed in response to recent U.S. immigration practices and policies. They forcibly separate children and parents at the border, hold families in immigration detention, and remove asylum protections for victims of domestic violence and gang violence.

This working group of the Center for Immigration & Child Welfare ( brings together scholars from across disciplines and around the country to work together.  In partnership with immigration advocates, we apply our research skills and substantive expertise to inform advocacy efforts and promote the wellbeing of asylum-seeking children, parents, and families.

In an area where the on-the-ground needs and information changes almost daily, STAFF is working to generate and translate social science knowledge that is relevant to the specific issues on the ground, and to facilitate effective, rapid response advocacy efforts.

STAFF activities include preparation of research briefs, regular updates for academics on policy as it unfolds and advocacy efforts by partner organizations, and tips and templates for academics ‘doing advocacy’ work.

STAFF has formed multiple small work groups to focus on specific issues including family separation, family detention, and domestic violence and asylum.  Across these areas, STAFF activities aim to advance effective research translation for policymakers and train researchers on effective policy advocacy.

STAFF was founded in June 2018 by Emily Bosk (Rutgers University), Megan Finno-Velasquez (New Mexico State University), Abigail Ross (Fordham University), and Tova Walsh (University of Wisconsin-Madison).


Strengthening Border Families Research Brief

By | Research Briefs

Strengthening Border Families Research Brief

Sophia Sepp, Megan-Finno Velasquez, & Vanessa Mendoza; Center on Immigration and Child Welfare (July 2021)

This brief highlights the findings and recommendations from a community-based participatory research study on the accessibility and quality of community services for immigrant families with young children in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Why Do People Migrate?

By | Immigrant Families Research, Research Briefs, Research Highlight

Why Do People Migrate?: The Context of Migration from Central America and Mexico to the United States

Mary Lehman Held, Skye Allmang, Jayleen Galarza, Jennifer Scott, Iván A. de la Rosa; Center on Immigration and Child Welfare (October 2018)

This research brief explores some of the major push and pull factors for migration to the United States from Central America and Mexico.

Read the Brief