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Caitlin Patler


  • Ph.D., Sociology, UCLA
  • M.A., Sociology, UCLA
  • B.A., Sociology and Chicana/o Studies, UCLA


Caitlin Patler is an assistant professor of sociology at UC Davis. She is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Poverty Research as well as in the Migration Studies Cluster, the Social Control Cluster, and the Human Rights Program.

Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty, Professor Patler was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the UC Irvine Department of Criminology, Law and Society. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Ford Foundation Diversity Fellow, and a UCLA Center for the Study of Women Paula Stone Legal Research Fellow. 

Research Focus

Dr. Patler’s research focuses on migration, inequality, and socio-legal studies. She is currently conducting two longitudinal and mixed-methods research studies on: 1) immigration detention, deportation, and the intersections of immigration and criminal law, and 2) the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Dr. Patler has received multiple grants and awards for her research, including awards from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Sociological Initiatives Foundation, and the American Sociological Association.

Selected Publications

Patler, Caitlin, Jeffrey O. Sacha, and Nicholas Branic. Online First. “Solitary Confinement Practices in a Subset of U.S. Immigrant Detention Facilities.”Journal of Population Research.

Patler, Caitlin. In Press. “To Reveal or Conceal: How Diverse Undocumented Youth Navigate Legal Status Disclosure.” Sociological Perspectives. Online first.

Patler, Caitlin. In Press. “Undocumented Disadvantage, Citizen Advantage, or Both? The Comparative Educational Outcomes of Second and 1.5-Generation Latino Young Adults.” International Migration Review. Online first.

Patler, Caitlin, Erin Hamilton, and Robin Savinar*. 2018. “DACA Uncertainty May Undermine its Positive Impact on Psychological Wellbeing.”UC Davis Center for Poverty Research.

Patler, Caitlin. 2018. “Undocumented Youth Organizations, Anti-Deportation Campaigns, and the Boundaries of Belonging.” Social Problems. 65(1):95-115. 

Patler, Caitlin and Whitney N. Laster Pirtle. 2018. “From Undocumented to Lawfully Present: Do Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults?” Social Science & Medicine. 199(1):39-48.

Patler, Caitlin and Tanya Golash-Boza. 2017. “The Fiscal and Human Costs of Immigration Detention and Deportation in the United States.” Sociology Compass11(11):1-9.

Patler, Caitlin and Nicholas Branic. 2017. “Patterns of Spouse and Child Visitation during Immigration Detention.” RSF: The Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences 3(4):18-36.

Patler, Caitlin, Kristina Shull and Katie Dingeman-Cerda. Forthcoming. “Detention and Deportation.” in The Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies, Second Edition., edited by S. J. Gold and S. J. Nawyn. London and New York: Routledge.

Patler, Caitlin and Roberto G. Gonzales. 2015. “Framing Citizenship: Media Coverage of Anti-Deportation Cases Led by Undocumented Immigrant Youth Organizations.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 41(9): 1453-74.


Professor Patler teaches courses on immigration to the United States and on sociological methodology.


  • National Science Foundation, 2018-2020 (with Erin Hamilton)
  • National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2018-2019
  • UC-Mexico Initiative Grant, 2018-2019 (with Robert Irwin, Giovanni Peri, and Leticia Saucedo)
  • Sociological Initiatives Foundation, 2018-2020 (in collaboration with Dream Team Los Angeles)
  • UC Davis Center for Regional Change Faculty Research Award, 2018-19
  • UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences Junior Faculty Research Grant, 2017-2018
  • UC Davis Academic Senate Faculty Research Grant (with Erin Hamilton)
  • UC Davis Diversity & Inclusion Award, 2017
  • UC Davis Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowship, 2017-2018
  • Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Award, 2016-2018
  • Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, supported by the American Sociological Association and the National Science Foundation, 2016