Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Shirley Leyro is a critical criminologist who earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the Graduate Center of the City of New York. She holds an M.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College with honors in English and a minor in Deviant Behavior and Social Control. Her areas of interests are immigration and crime, deportation, immigration enforcement, social disorganization, and crimmigration. She is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Borough of Manhattan Community College – CUNY.
Dr. Leyro’s research explores the role that the vulnerability to deportation, and the fear resulting from it, plays in disrupting the process of integration, and the possible implications of this interruption for immigrants and their communities. Her findings include that fear of deportation produces emotional and psychological distress, which leads immigrants to have negative perceptions of reception into the United States, all which create barriers to integration. In addition, her findings revealed that the fear of deportation and the resulting psychological distress constitutes a form of legal violence.
Dr. Leyro has received numerous awards, including a dissertation fellowship with the Center for Culture, Place and Politics. She has been asked to present her scholarly work at various professional meetings, such as the Workshop on Critical Approaches to Race, Ethnicity, and Migration, at Columbia University, The American Society of Criminology (ASC), The Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), American Criminal Justice Association (ACJS) and the Southwestern Social Science Association (SSSA). She is co-editor of Outside Justice: Immigration and the Criminalizing Impact of Changing Policy and Practice as well as a contributor to the same volume. She is also a member of the Leadership Team for the Latina Researchers Network. She is the former co-managing fellow for the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College.