Born and raised in The Bronx, 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 Associate 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 Teaching Award from the American Society of Criminology Division of People of Color and Crime, and a Faculty Fellowship with the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She has been asked to present her scholarly work at various professional meetings, colleges, and universities around the country, and was awarded a Diploma in International Critical Criminology, Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology.