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Robert Lee Maril

Professor of sociology, East Carolina University

Robert Lee Maril is a Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University. He is the author of eight books including most recently The Fence: National Security, Public Safety, and Illegal Immigration along the U.S.-Mexico Border and Patrolling Chaos, an ethnography of the U.S. Border Patrol. His research focuses upon issues of social inequality in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and the American Southwest.

Maril's degrees are from Grinnell College, Indiana University, and Washington University.

Dr. Maril has received a number of national, regional, and state grants to support his research. He is also a contributing writer to Homeland Security Newswire and has been cited or interviewed in a variety of media including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox and Friends, and Salon.

In addition to testifying on his research before the U.S. Senate and House, Maril has contributed to immigration legislation. Maril worked pro bono for the Prosecution in the murder trial of Bryan De La Beckwith; the defendant was convicted of the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963.


  • –present
    Professor of sociology, East Carolina University