Distinguished Term Professor of Sociology
Hagan joined the Department of Sociology in 2005 after 15 years on the faculty in Sociology and co-directing the Center for Immigration Research at the University of Houston. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, she moved to Houston and focused her research on the implications of international migration from Latin America. She has done fieldwork in immigrant receiving communities in the United States and their sending counterparts in Mexico and Central America. She has written extensively on the effects of U.S. immigration policy developments on the rights and opportunities of immigrants and their families in the United States. Her first book, Deciding to be Legal (Temple University Press 1998) investigated how immigrants responded to the 1986 Legalization Program, and her second book, Migration Miracle (Harvard University Press 2008), traced the role of public and private religion on the undocumented journey from Central America through Mexico to the United States. Her most recent book, Skills of the “Unskilled”: Work and Mobility among Mexican Migrants (University of California Press 2015) explored how migrants with little schooling acquire and transfer hard-to-measure skills across international borders to improve their economic circumstances. Hagan regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international migration with a focus on the implications of Latin American migration to the United States.