Ernesto Castañeda conducts research on migration, urban issues, health disparities, vulnerable populations, and social movements. He compares immigrant integration and ethnic political mobilization in the U.S. and Western Europe. He has conducted surveys and ethnographic fieldwork in the United States, France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Algeria, and Morocco; and published on remittances and development; integration and transnationalism; hometown associations and diaspora organizations; urban exclusion; the border fence; transnational families and the children of migrants left behind; health disparities within immigrant, public housing, and homeless Hispanic populations.

He received a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at Columbia University, Baruch College-City University of New York, and the University of Texas at El Paso. He has been a visiting scholar at the Sorbonne, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School for Social Research, and the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. He is affiliated with the Center on Health, Risk, and Society and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University, where he is an Assistant Professor of Sociology.