Austin Kocher, Ph.D.

Austin Kocher is a political and legal geographer studying the theories, laws, and institutional practices behind immigration enforcement.

Assistant Research Professor with Syracuse University’s Civic Research Data Lab (CRDL), formerly known as the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). I am also an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Geography at the Maxwell School, and an affiliated expert at the Institute for Democracy, Journalism, and Citizenship. Kocher is also a Research Fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and the Immigration Lab.

His research has appeared in journals such as Antipode, American Behavioral Scientist, Territory, Politics, Governance, Societies, Georgetown Law Journal, and Journal of Latin American Geography. Kocher is often featured in the national news as an expert on immigration, including outlets such as C-SPAN, NPR, The New York Times, NPRs Morning Edition, and many more.

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Recent Publications

  1. Davidson, L., Hlass, L., & Kocher. A. (2023) The Double Abandonment of Immigrant Youth: How the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Program Harms Those It Was Designed to Protect.” Georgetown Law Review. Available online.
  2. Kocher, A. (2023). Glitches in the Digitization of Asylum: How CBP One Turns Migrants’ Smartphones into Mobile Borders. Societies, 13(6), 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13060149
  3. Kocher, A. (2023). Growing Numbers of Afghan Migrants Face Deportation in Court. The Immigration Lab Blog. https://theimmigrationlab.org/blog/f/growing-numbers-of-afghan-migrants-face-deportation-in-court
  4. Jones, R., Kocher, A., Sultana, F., Smiles, D., McSweeney, K., & Molnar, P. (2023). Interventions on public geographies. Political Geography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2023.103007.

Upcoming Events & Speaking Engagements

Nothing on the calendar!

Presenting at the University of Washington, November 2023.Presenting at the University of Washington, November 2023.

Recent Events & Speaking Engagements

June 2024

  • June 10-12, 2024: Presenting at the 2024 Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods hosted by the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • June 21, 2024: Presented at Poynter Institute’s training for immigration reporters.
  • June 21, 2024: Presented at Columbia University’s Archives as Data: An Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities hosted by the History Lab. More information here.

March 2024

  • March 2-3, 2024: Crimmigration conference at Lewis & Clark Law School. The conference schedule is available online here.
  • March 5, 2024: Speaking at panel event Who Has the Right to Free Speech? Immigration, Civil Liberty, and Freedom of Expression” at Cornell University. Event is in-person only. More information here.
  • March 19, 2024 (7:00 PM): Discussant at John Washington’s Book Event for The Case for Open Borders” at Red Emma’s in Baltimore. Event information here. Order the book.
  • March 20, 2024: Tracking the Deportation State: Public Records Requests, Data Analysis, and Research on Immigration Enforcement” at Barnard College in New York City. More information and registration here.

January 2024

  • January 10-12, 2024: Presenting at Developing Innovative Research Approaches to Address the Needs of People on the Move” workshop at Barnard College in New York City.

November 2023

  • November 17, 2023: Overcoming Institutional Closure in Immigration Research: How TRAC Uses Public Records Requests to Study the Deportation State.”” At the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington. (More info + registration.) Watch the recorded presentation on YouTube.

October 2023

September 2023

  • Presented paper at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law titled FOIA as Method: Mapping the Digital Architectures of the Immigration State.”