David Hernández's research focuses on immigration enforcement, in particular, the U.S. detention regime. He is completing a book manuscript on this institution tentatively entitled "Undue Process: Immigrant Detention and Lesser Citizenship." The book examines the racial genealogy of immigrant detention in the United States, traces the long-term consolidation of detention and deportation powers, and situates this mostly obscured institution at the crossroads of migration and prison scholarship. He is also the co-editor of Critical Ethnic Studies: An Anthology, which is currently under review.
Hernández’s work has been published in Latina/o Studies, the Journal of Race and Policy, NACLA: Report on the Americas, and Perspectives in Mexican American Studies. His article "Pursuant to Deportation: Latinos and Immigrant Detention" was recently reprinted for the second time in Governing Immigration Through Crime: A Reader (Stanford University Press). Hernández has written numerous reviews and review essays in American Quarterly, Aztlán, Contemporary Sociology, and the Law and Society Review. He has received research fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Center for Latina/o Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution.
At Mount Holyoke Hernández teaches a first year seminar entitled the Politics of Inequality and the Introduction to Latina/o Studies. He also teaches Latina/o Immigration, Visualizing Immigrant Narratives: Migration in Film, and Disposable People: A History of Deportation.
- "Burned in U.S. "Melting Point": Charlemont Forum takes in plight of immigrants through present day," The Recorder, July 10, 2015
- "Unaccompanied Child Migrants in "Crisis": New Surge or Case of Arrested development?", Havard Journal of Hispanic Policy, June 2, 2015
- "What to do about immigration detention crisis?" Office of Communications and Marketing, September 18, 2014
- "TRUST Didn't Help," New Haven Independent, August 7, 2014
- "Difficult Dialogues: On Immigrant Detention," Amherst Media, March 15, 2014
- "Immigrant Detentions Rampant but Ignored" Office of Communications, January 13, 2014