Grantee Partner

U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California San Diego

Cutting-edge, timely research on immigration policy

The U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) at the University of California San Diego is conducting cutting-edge research to inform the most significant issues in our immigration debate today. The center is led by Professor Tom K. Wong, whose research focuses on the politics of immigration, citizenship, and migrant “illegality.” Professor Wong is uniquely skilled at conducting timely research that provides data to inform complex policy issues. He works closely with policymakers and advocates to ensure that his research addresses stakeholders’ data needs.

Recently, the USIPC has produced research showing that sanctuary localities are safer than comparable non-sanctuary localities, which has been widely cited in efforts to push back on the administration’s attacks on welcoming counties and cities; the economic and educational benefits of DACA, which has been used in numerous court cases defending DACA; and whether harsh border policies actually deter asylum-seekers, which has been used to help end family separations and uphold the Flores Settlement agreement (which prevents the indefinite detention of children).

The center has also produced research on the negative impact of the administration’s public charge rule, which was used in two out of the three federal lawsuits that resulted in the policy being enjoined; and new research on the experiences asylum seekers face in Mexico under the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The center’s research has played a major role in debunking myths about immigration  and has been cited by many media outlets to fact check false claims. Advocates have used Professor Wong’s research in their communications efforts, as well as to educate federal policymakers.

Unbound Philanthropy first supported Professor Wong’s research on DACA in 2013, and has provide core support since 2017. Unbound Philanthropy does not commonly fund research, but where we do, it’s for timely research that can address the most pressing and complex immigration policy issues of today.This center’s research advances all of our strategy areas.

Dr. Tom Wong's data analytical work has had a powerful impact on Four Freedom Fund grantees’ non-partisan voter outreach campaigns. As a result of Dr. Wong’s assistance, voter engagement organizations are able to target infrequent Latinx and AAPI voters, who are rarely engaged by other campaigns, significantly improving voter turnout.

Anita Khashu, Director, Four Freedoms Fund

Cutting-edge, timely research on the most pressing and complex immigration policy issues of today.


Federal lawsuits that USIPC has been part of against the administration’s immigration policies