Meet the Researcher - Linda Manziaris

Breakout Room: 1

Researcher Name: Linda Manziaris 
Co-presenter: Matthew Greer-Gentis
Title of Research: The Systemic Criminogenic Risk Factors and their Effects on Deported Veterans
Division Representing: Arts & Humanities
Research Institution: Northeastern University
Institution Research Location: Massachusetts
Home State: Massachusetts
District Number: 7
Advisor/Mentor: Katharina Neissl

Research Experience:
Linda Manziaris is a Senior at Northeastern University, studying a combined major in criminal justice and political science. Linda has a deep interest in serving America's marginalized communities, completing a co-op as a criminal investigator at the Brooklyn Defender's Office. From Linda's scholastic background in criminal justice, she applied criminological theories to explain deported veterans offending patterns in Mexican border cities. In addition, Linda is a part of a research initiative under Dr. Passas, seeking to understand how global crises can be explained as cases of institutional corruption and organized crime.

Presentation Experience:
Matthew and Linda first presented research in the Spring 2020 for Northeastern's Research, Innovation, Scholarship, and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Research Competition. The RISE presentation took an interdisciplinary approach to the crisis, explaining criminogenic risk theories in context of the veterans military service. Through the RISE competition, Linda and Matthew received 1st place in the Ethically Conducted Research Award and the SAIL Award for a project that best represented the school's values. 520 research groups- covering interdisciplinary topics from undergraduate and graduate schools- competed for 23 awards. In May of 2020, Linda presented research investigating fraud and corruption in the Brazilian response to COVID-19. The research was presented to industry professionals. including corruption experts and Former Brazilian state officials. This research has been submitted for publication in a Brazilian journal.  

Significance of Research:       
Regardless of citizenship, all veterans of the US armed forces dedicated their lives to serving the United States. Foreign-born permanent US residents are actively recruited by the US military, although they are not citizens. Between 2013 and 2018, over 44,000 non-citizens joined the US military and served as active soldiers in every branch. Many have been decorated for their service, yet the US government routinely deports non-citizen veterans. Deported non-citizen veterans are predominantly Latinx, holding citizenship from a Latin American country. When removed, they are customarily deported to Mexican border cities, most often to Tijuana: the busiest land border crossing in the world. Our ethnographic research at the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana revealed that veterans are exposed to a variety of criminogenic risk factors. They are forced to leave their families in the US, lose access to resources provided by Veterans Affairs, and are victims of Mexico's narco-kleptocracy. Failure to minimize and control these risk factors systemically promotes involvement in gang and cartel violence, continued substance abuse, and increased suicide rates among deported veterans. In this research project, we propose that the best long-term solution to redress the injustice committed against non-citizen veterans is for the United States Congress to pass legislation at the federal level that addresses these risk factors. We review relevant recent bills, as well as their amendments, such as those brought forward by Congressman Gonzalez and Senator Duckworth and evaluate their response to the criminogenic risk factors identified in our study.

Uniqueness of Research: 
The deported veterans crisis hits the intersection of Matthew's hometown of San Diego: military service, immigration, deportation, and border city relations. As our research touches on all four of these topics, we have recognized the apparent consequences of veteran deportation has on increasing US veteran's exposure to criminogenic risk factors.