The MMFRP trains the next generation of immigration scholars and advocates. 90% of our student researchers are immigrants or children of immigrants. Our alumni go on to careers in law, policy, healthcare, education, and academia.

Scroll down for bios.

Director: Abigail Andrews

Dr. Abigail Andrews is an expert in immigration, gender, and state violence. She is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at UCSD and an alumna of the MMFRP (2010-2011). She has directed the program since 2018.

Coordinator-Asylum Project: Ana López Ricoy

(bio TBD)

Ana has taught and participated in MMFRP since Winter 2019.

Coordinator-Latinx Student Project: Alelí Andres

Alelí is a PhD student in Sociology and coordinator of the Latinx student project

My interest in immigrant advocacy stems from my background as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I grew up in a vibrant immigrant and working-class community in Maryland, where I witnessed and experienced first-hand the inequalities that immigrants are subject to in this country. As an undergraduate student, my research focused on how local and national immigration policies affect immigrant families. Now, as a graduate student and as a member of MMFRP, my goal is to continue pursuing advocacy work and research that illuminates the experiences of migrants at the US-Mexico border.  

Alelí has taught and participated in MMFRP since Winter 2022.

Team Lead-Latinx Student Project: Yazmin Mata

Yazmin is a 4th-year Sociology major and transfer student. She participated in MMFRP in 2021-2022.

I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and moved to the U.S when I was 4 years old. Living here since then I have grown up Mexican-American—although undocumented. My status presents unfortunate barriers to reach my dreams of higher education, nonetheless, I continue to persevere and always have mentors to support me along the way. My career goals and aspirations have been shaped by my co-curricular experiences and the drive to help my community. After undergrad, I plan to go to law school to help immigrant communities navigate the legal system, and/or get a PhD to produce research on undocumented communities that can influence public policy.

Team Lead-Asylum Project: Aleida López

Aleida is a 3rd-year Sociology major.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. My mother migrated from El Salvador in 1980 in order to escape the war that was happening in her country. As a result, I have been able to access resources that she never had. I am passionate about seeking justice for the immigrant community as the crisis at the border continues today. I am honored and excited to be part of MMFRP and recognize the value of this program, as it is allowing me to become more aware of the current state of the immigration population. After undergrad, I hope to attend graduate school and pursue a career in social work.

Team Lead-Asylum Data: Gonzalo Rocha Vasquez

(bio coming)

Student Researchers

We accept up to 40 graduate and undergraduate student researchers a year. Students apply in a competitive process and commit to joining the team for a year. More than 90% of our student researchers are Latine, first-generation college students. Most grew up in California to immigrant parents from Mexico or Central America. All are bilingual in Spanish and English.

Click here for bios of our 2022-2023 student team.


MMFRP alumni are prominent leaders in the field of immigration, with many going on to careers as immigration advocates, lawyers, policymakers, scholars, doctors and public health leaders, educators, social workers and more.

If you are an alumn and would like to connect, please find us on Twitter @ucsdmmfrp, Instagram @ucsd_mmfrp or Facebook UCSD Mexican Migration Field Research Program.


The MMFRP is administered by Ana Minvielle-Blakesley at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD.