Fraga Brings Latino Studies Expertise to Political Commentary, Research

October 17, 2015Arts and Letters


From the Supreme Court to Pope Francis to the 2016 presidential candidates, the issue of immigration is at the forefront of modern political conversations. And the national news media is looking to Notre Dame political scientist Luis Fraga as a trusted voice on the topic.

Fraga, the Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership and the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science, is a pioneer in the field of Latino politics.

His commentary has appeared in recent NBC News stories on the 1965 Voting Rights Act and barriers to Latino political participation, as well as stories in The Guardian on Pope Francis’ effect on the U.S. immigration debate and in the Houston Chronicle on attracting Latino voters to the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket.

In July 2015, Fraga was appointed a co-director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, along with Professor of Theology Timothy Matovina.

“The combination of skills that they bring to the institute is spectacular,” said John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, where ILS is housed. “They are going to accelerate the impressive development that has marked the Institute’s recent history.”

Established in 1999, the interdisciplinary institute advances understanding of the fastest-growing and youngest population in the United States and in the American Catholic Church and strengthens Notre Dame’s mission to prepare transformative leaders committed to building a future where Latinos thrive in the United States.

“There is already a great deal of attention being paid to the role that Latino voters will have in the upcoming 2016 presidential election,” said Fraga, who came to Notre Dame in 2014. “Their growth across the country has the potential to greatly influence how many aspects of American politics evolve over the next 20 years. Similarly, their growth has already transformed how the Catholic Church sees its own future in the U.S.

“Tim and I will work tirelessly to make sure that the Institute for Latino Studies and Notre Dame are at the forefront of the most constructive, insightful, and engaged thinking about these important and complex transformations in our society.”