Hernández weighs in on immigration law

David Hernández

Immigration policy signed 20 years ago by President Bill Clinton has repercussions today, said David Hernández, a professor of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American studies at Mount Holyoke College and an expert in immigration policy

The legislation is known as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). "Instead of catching people who arrived recently—like deported people who got caught along the border," Hernández said, IIRIRA "created a whole era of interior enforcement." 

Due to the change in laws, he said in an article in Vice, detention rates tripled. Detention became the fastest growing form of incarceration. 

“The immigration detention system is obscure—nobody really sees it, even though it’s directly related to the criminal justice system in a sequential way,” Hernández said. 

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