Daisy Vargas (Ph.D. in History, University of California, Riverside; M.A. in Religious Studies, University of Denver) specializes in Catholicism in the Americas; race, ethnicity, religion in the United States; Latina/o religion; and material religion. Her current project traces the history of Mexican religion, race, and the law from the nineteenth century into the contemporary moment, positioning current legal debates about Mexican religion within a larger history of anti-Mexican and anti-Catholic attitudes in the United States.
As part of a larger project of racial profiling, officer testimonies reveal that the establishment of reasonable suspicion, the search and seizure of vehicles, and the violation of fourth amendment rights of Mexican and Mexican-American drivers often rely on faith-based determinations between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Officers in such cases incorporate information learned at privately-run law enforcement trainings and seminars, where religion, racial profiling, and crimmigration intersect.