Mr Rajeev (Ray) Gundur
I was born in Texas and moved around the US and Canada. As a teen, I studied Spanish, completing exchange programs in Ecuador and Uruguay. I studied Latin American Studies at Tulane University, focusing on immigration. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spurred me down that path.
Many Ibero-Americans migrated to New Orleans in response to the construction boom resulting from Katrina’s devastation. I volunteered to teach English to some of these undocumented workers. I forged friendships with some of my students which made me privy to the problems, frustrations, and injustices that members of the undocumented immigrant community in New Orleans had to endure. Through my interactions with these individuals, I grew interested in policy and how it affects people who are generally marginalized from the political process.
After Tulane, I moved back to Spain, working as an English teacher. That year, like many Americans in my work scheme, I participated in the underground education market in order to make ends meet. It was a formative experience; I came to appreciate how difficult it is to find work in the face of rules that make it nearly impossible to work enough to sustain oneself. I experienced first-hand how employers use their position to manipulate and abuse employees.
After Spain, I decided to return to school. Winning a scholarship to study a master’s degree in international politics, I went to The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. I studied topics related to civil society and security. Ultimately, I focused on Mexico’s sovereignty and how drug trafficking organizations impact it.
I moved back to Europe and after failing to find work, I enrolled in a master’s degree in criminology at Oxford. The program allowed me to conduct empirical research where I interviewed undocumented individuals, focusing on their views concerning law enforcement.
Currently, I am continuing this line of research as a doctoral candidate at Cardiff University