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Leah Sarat's work focuses on ways in which people draw upon religion to confront the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges of migration.

Her book, "Fire in the Canyon: Religion, Migration, and the Mexican Dream" centers on the relationship between migration and tourism in an indigenous community in central Mexico. Sarat's project, "Faith Behind Bars: Encountering Immigrant Detention in Arizona," examines how chaplains, faith-based volunteers, and immigrant detainees at Arizona’s Eloy Detention facility draw upon religious narratives and practices to explain, survive, and resist the realities of immigration detention.

Sarat is also a contributor to "States of Incarceration," a public humanities collaboration of more than 20 universities that has produced a travelling exhibit and web platform, and public dialogues on the history and current realities of mass incarceration throughout the U.S.

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In the news

Those contemplating the journey from Central America — whether they intend to request asylum or cross the border undetected — face limited options. Often they must choose between life-threatening danger in their countries of origin and danger due to environmental factors or violence during the migration journey. Bringing religion into the conversation provides a counterweight to common claims that asylum seekers are merely opportunistic.

— Leah Sarat, ASU Now