A common theme throughout much of my research relates to how planning and public policies affect underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable populations. This theme is central to my research on immigrant integration. My research focused on studying the effects of local anti-immigration policies on communities throughout North Carolina and I produced a wide range of publications, including reports, journal articles that reach government officials and staff, and blogposts with over 20,000 subscribers. In addition, I conducted multi-year local planning processes to develop immigrant integration plans in Highpoint and Greenville, North Carolina. These issues are rapidly changing and fast turnaround research was critical to affecting public policy and stopping civil and human rights abuses that were occurring throughout North Carolina.
I have been interested in how abuses of power and racial profiling by local law enforcement under the guise of immigration enforcement harms local communities socially and economically. As immigration enforcement becomes increasingly decentralized to local and state governments, policy makers must understand the consequences of this shift in order to mitigate harm to communities
 Nguyen, Mai Thi and Hannah Gill. 2015. Interior immigration enforcement: The impacts of expanding local law enforcement authority. Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098014563029 [Article]
 Nguyen, Mai Thi and David Salvesen. 2014. Disaster Recovery Among Multi-ethnic Immigrants: A Case Study of Southeast Asians in Bayou La Batre, Alabama after Hurricane Katrina. Journal of the American Planning Association, 80:4, 385-396, DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2014.986497 [Article]
 Lester, William T. and Mai Thi Nguyen. 2016. The Economic Integration of Immigrants and Regional Resilience. Journal of Urban Affairs. DOI: 10.1111/juaf.12205 [Article]
 Nguyen, Mai Thi. 2015. The Intersection of Immigration and Housing Policies: Implications for the U.S. Housing Market and Economy. Editorial Essay. Housing Policy Debate. 25(4): 796-798 DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2015.1043084 [Article]