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César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández — Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants
Please join us at Roosevelt House as we welcome César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, associate professor of law at the University of Denver, to discuss his new book, Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants. The book presents an in-depth look at the imprisonment of immigrants, addressing the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system. For most of America’s history, it did not lock people up for migrating here. Yet over the last 30 years, the federal and state governments have increasingly tapped their powers to incarcerate people accused of violating immigration laws. As a result, almost 400,000 people annually now spend some time incarcerated pending the results of civil or criminal immigration proceedings.
In Migrating to Prison, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández takes a hard look at the immigration prison system’s origins, how it currently operates, and why. He tackles the emergence of immigration imprisonment in the mid-1980s, with enforcement resources, he contends, deployed disproportionately against Latinos, and he examines both the outsized presence of private prisons and how some continue, disingenuously, to link immigration imprisonment with national security and threats to the rule of law. García Hernández will be in conversation with Cristian Farias, writer-in-residence at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.