Academic Bio

Dr. Austin Kocher is a geographer and Assistant Research Professor at the Civic Research Data Lab (CRDL), formerly known as the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research institute at Syracuse University that uses Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to study the U.S. immigration enforcement apparatus. He also has a faculty appointment in Syracuse University’s Department of Geography, an affiliated expert at the Institute for Democracy, Journalism, and Citizenship, and he is a research fellow at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University. He graduated from the Ohio State University in 2017 with Ph.D. in geography. 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.

The unifying thread that runs through Kocher’s research is a commitment to an ongoing interrogation and critique of immigration controls, immigrant policing, and border enforcement, as well as the development of insurgent knowledges that can resist, transform, and dismantle systems of marginalization. These commitments are grounded in research methodologies and collaborative projects that use legal case research, counter-mapping, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, qualitative interviewing and ethnography, and large data analysis to unpack the inner workings of the immigration system.

Full academic CV.

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