I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Newhouse School of Public Communication and a researcher with the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), an institute at Syracuse University that uses Freedom of Information Act requests to study the federal government.
I graduated with my PhD from The Ohio State University’s Department of Geography in 2017, where I also previously earned my MA and BA in geography. Prior to joining Syracuse University, I taught at Western Governors University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
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Dr. Austin Kocher is a geographer and Assistant Research Professor at the Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research institute at Syracuse University that uses Freedom of Information Act requests to study the federal government. Key areas of Kocher’s current research at TRAC include mapping and analyzing large federal data sets related to immigration detention, enforcement, and deportation, the immigration court system, and trends within the federal criminal and civil courts.
Kocher’s research interests focus on the political and legal geographies of racialized policing practices, local immigration enforcement, and the immigration court system. His ongoing work interrogates the legal rationalities and everyday practices of producing “illegalized” immigrants throughout North America and Europe. He uses cartographic, ethnographic, and quantitative methodologies to examine how the immigration courts link up with local immigration enforcement on the ground. His work also examines the strategies and impact of grassroots immigrant rights and worker rights movements that contest deportation as a tool of social and labor control.