I graduated with a PhD in justice, law and criminology from American University in May 2020, and am currently teaching as an adjunct instructor within my department. Prior to completing my PhD, I worked as a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative at the Tahirih Justice Center, a national nonprofit organization that supports immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence through a combination of legal representation, social services and public policy.
My academic research focuses upon issues of social justice and inequality, particularly as they pertain to immigration policy, both within the U.S. and in other countries. My research is motivated by immigrants' legal rights and access to justice, and this is the common thread that runs through my scholarship, regardless of whether its focus is on asylum seekers' due process rights, language access, the policing of immigrant communities or the influence of the judiciary over migration policies. I apply a mixed-methods approach to my research and draw upon qualitative methods (such as interviews and focus groups) and quantitative analysis (such as regressions and matching).
Areas of Interest
- Law and language
- Immigration and asylum policy
- Policing of immigrant communities
- Discretion and legal outcomes
- Judicial decision-making
- Hamlin, R. & Mellinger, H. (2018). The Role of Courts and Legal Norms. In A. Weinar, S. Bounjour & L. Zhyznomirska (Eds.), Routledge Handbook on the Politics of Migration in Europe (pp. 99-108). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Lowrey-Kinberg, B., Barak, M. & Mellinger, H. (forthcoming). Perceptions of Justice among Guatemalan-Mayans and Latinos of South Florida: A Call for Further Study of Procedural Justice in Minority Communities. Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order.
Works in Progress
- Harris, L.M., & Mellinger, H. (In Progress). The National Asylum Attorney Burnout, Stress, and Trauma Survey.
- Mellinger, H. (In Progress). Interpretation at the Asylum Office.