Schar School’s Correa-Cabrera Awarded a Fulbright to Explore Border Security and Immigration

A woman with her hair pulled back and wearing a blue knit dress and a purple necklace smiles at the camera.
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera: ‘It represents the closing of a period of very intense field research for me.’ Photo by Creative Services.

Schar School of Policy and Government professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to conduct research and teach in Mexico as part of the Fulbright-García Robles Social Sciences and Humanities Program. The highly competitive fellowship program has been awarded to 62 Nobel laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 80 MacArthur fellows.

Correa-Cabrera will reside beginning in September at El Colegio de a Frontera Norte (El COLEF) in Tijuana, Mexico, where she will teach topics related to border issues as well as conduct research on the phenomenon of human smuggling and its impact on immigration policy and border security.

Correa-Cabrera said she is honored to be selected for the prestigious exchange program, which is intended to strengthen international cooperation among academics and provide support for teaching and studying abroad.

“This opportunity is very important to me professionally,” she said. “It represents the closing of a period of very intense field research for me.”

Correa-Cabrera said she would finish a book in the coming year studying the activities and development of human smuggling networks that facilitate U.S.-bound migration.

The book will identify the main actors facilitating human mobility through illicit forms, their social networks, and the systems they form,” she said.

So far she has spent eight years collecting more than 550 interviews “with migrants and relevant actors,” she said. “The project analyzes the roles of different groups and forms of organized crime and other U.S.-bound migration facilitators.”

Her most recent book, Frontera: A Journey across the U.S.-Mexico Border, with coauthor Sergio Chapa, was published this spring by Texas Christian University Press.  

Correa-Cabrera will return to George Mason University when her Fulbright fellowship and book are complete.