P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Saúl Ramírez, 2020

PhD, Harvard University

Saúl Ramírez is the child of immigrants from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Sociology at Harvard University

Saúl Ramírez was born in the United States and raised in Santa Ana, California, a predominantly working-class, Spanish-speaking, immigrant community. Saúl’s parents had relocated from El Sabino—an impoverished, rural town in Guanajuato, México—where their education had been limited to grade-school. Having supported their six children by working relentlessly in low-paying, precarious jobs for over forty years, Saúl’s parents continue to inspire him to chase his academic dreams to contribute to the quest for legal and social justice.

Accordingly, Saúl graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2016, where his majors were Chicano studies and ethnic studies, and his minors were education and global poverty and practice. In addition to Saúl’s multidisciplinary undergraduate training, culminating in an honors thesis that analyzed Central American unaccompanied immigrant minors’ experiences, his legal internships during college cemented his desire to pursue law. He aspired to mitigate the immigration- and criminal-law-related consequences he witnessed his loved ones and community enduring.

Saúl earned his JD from Yale Law School in 2019. There, he was awarded the C. LaRue Munson Prize for representing clients and undertaking policy advocacy through the Advanced Criminal Justice Clinic, Advanced Sentencing Clinic, Advanced Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, and Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic. Moreover, Saúl was the Latinx Law Students Association’s vice president, First Generation Professionals’ alumni chair, and Rebellious Lawyering Conference’s co-director. Furthermore, Saúl was fortunate to be a research assistant for Professor James Forman, Jr. and Professor Issa Kohler-Hausmann, faculty who combine interdisciplinary tools to understand and address injustices that marginalized people face. Additionally, the invaluable mentorship Saúl received from Professor Monica Bell confirmed his aspiration to study sociology at a doctoral level. 

As a sociology PhD student at Harvard University, Saúl is a research assistant for Professor Mary Waters and intends on generating legal and sociological scholarship on crimmigration: the intersection of the immigration and criminal justice systems. Wishing to eradicate mass incarceration and deportations, issues that profoundly impact families like his, Saúl hopes to educate, mentor, and support future generations of students, especially other New Americans.

  • JD Law | Yale University 2019
  • BA Chicano Studies and Ethnic Studies, Education and Global Poverty & Practice | University of California, Berkeley 2016
  • PhD Sociology | Harvard University
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