Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga is a doctoral candidate in political science and a Health Policy Doctoral Fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, where she studies American politics, race, ethnicity and politics, and public policy. She currently serves as independent research contractor at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico, conducting research on the use of solitary confinement across the state.

Gomez-Aguinaga served as a research assistant for several years in different organizations such as the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, providing support for the U.S. Immigration Policy Program on issues such as immigration enforcement and deferred action; the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, CA, doing research on immigration enforcement policies, unaccompanied minors and the DACA program; and the Cross Border Issues Group, conducting field work in Southern and Western Mexico to study migration from Mexico and Central America to the United States. Throughout the years, Gomez-Aguinaga has worked with refugees from Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa, immigrant victims of crimes, international students and scholars, and undocumented and first-generation college students in multiple organizations, including the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center, the Refugee Well-Being Project, and the Global Education Office at the University of New Mexico.

Gomez-Aguinaga’s current research projects explore the impact of presidential campaigns on the Latino electorate, the effects of descriptive representation of women of color, as well as the intersection of news media consumption and political behavior among ethno-racial groups in the United States. Her research has been published in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, the Journal on Migration and Human Security, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

- Juarez Perez, Melina D., Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga, and Sonia Bettez. 2018. “Localities and the Immigrant Detention Center Complex: Profits over Communities?” Journal on Migration and Human Security, 74-96

- Sanchez, Gabriel R., and Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga 2017. “Latino Rejection of the Trump Campaign: How Trump’s Racialized Rhetoric Mobilized the Latino Electorate as Never Before.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

- Sanchez, Gabriel R., Edward D. Vargas, Melina D. Juarez, Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga, and Francisco I. Pedraza. 2017. “Nativity and Citizenship Status Affect Latinos' Health Insurance Coverage Under the ACA.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-18.

Edited Book Volume Chapters / Encyclopedia

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara, and Gabriel R. Sanchez. “Latinos and Trump” in Jessica Lavariega Monforti (eds.) Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders. ABC-CLIO. (Forthcoming 2019).

- Sanchez, Gabriel R., and Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga. “The Latino Rejection of the Trump Campaign: The Biggest Voter Gap on Record” in Gabriel R. Sanchez (eds.) Latinos and the 2016 Election. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. (Forthcoming).

Other Selected Scholarly Works

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara. “Stepping into the Vacuum: State and Cities Act on Immigration, But Do Restrictions Work?” Migration Policy Institute’s Migration Information Source. November 3, 2016. Available online.

- Hipsman, Faye, Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga, and Randy Capps. “DACA at Four: Participation in the Deferred Action Program and Impacts on Recipients.” Migration Policy Institute. August 2016. Available online.

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara, Gabriel R. Sanchez, Eric Griego, and Sam Howarth. “Surprise Medical Billing in New Mexico: Results from the 2017 New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance UNM RWJF Center for Health Policy Surprise Bill Survey.” December 20, 2017. Available online

- Sanchez, Gabriel R., Sam Howarth, Maria Livaudais, and Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga “Cost of Health Care Remains a Major Issue among Hispanics in New Mexico.” October 26, 2015.. Available online.

Submitted for Publication

- Barreto, Matt, Gabriel R. Sanchez, and Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga. “The Importance of State and Local Variation in Black-Brown Attitudes: How Latinos View Blacks and How Blacks Affect Their Views” (Conditionally Accepted at Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics)

- Vargas, Edward, Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga, Gabriel R. Sanchez, and Matt Barreto. “How Latinos’ Perceptions of Environmental Health Threats Impact Policy Preferences” (Revise and Resubmit at Social Science Quarterly)

Manuscripts in Preparation

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara. “Consider the Language: The Agenda-Setting Effects of Spanish and English-Language News Consumption Among Latinos” (to be submitted to Political Behavior)

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara. “Untangling Gun-Related Fatalities, Firearm Policies and Mental Illness: A Panel Data Analysis of State-Level Policies and Outcomes In the United States” (to be submitted to State Politics & Policy Quarterly)

- Gomez-Aguinaga, Barbara. “Descriptive Representation and Political Efficacy: An Intersectional Analysis of Race and Gender” (to be submitted to Politics and Gender)

choose your poison

Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga

1915 Roma Street Northeast,

Room 2059,

Albuquerque, NM 87131