David Cortez

David Cortez

Assistant Professor

Fields of Study: American Politics

Research and Teaching Interests: Racial and Ethnic (Latinx) Politics; Social Identity; (Im)migration; Criminal Justice; Street-Level Bureaucracy

2075 Jenkins Nanovic Halls




David Cortez is Assistant Professor of Political Science. His research centers on ethnic and racial identity with particular focus on intersectional and situational identity salience. His current book project explores the emergence of a disproportionately Latinx immigration law enforcement workforce as a metaphor for the minority experie​​nce in the United States. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, including interviews with and observations of more than one-hundred Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents across Texas, Arizona, and California, his research engages questions of belonging, obligation, and liminality to reveal the careful negotiation of cross-cutting social group memberships of Latinx immigration agents caught between two worlds: the police and the policed. Prof. Cortez is an alumnus of the American Political Science Association Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, and his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship Program.

On leave Fall 2023 and Spring 2024