David Hernández

Faculty Director of Community Engagement, Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies
Immigration policy; detention and deportation, Latina/o history

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 "Alien Incarcerations: 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 the anthology Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (Duke University Press, 2016).

Hernández’s work has been published in Latina/o Studies, theJournal of Race and PolicyNACLA: Report on the Americas, andPerspectives 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 QuarterlyAztlán,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.

Recent Campus News

This is photo of David Hernandez

Immigration inequality in the U.S.

David Hernández, associate professor of Latina/o studies at Mount Holyoke, discusses the biases against Black and Muslim applicants for U.S. citizenship. 

David Hernandez in a blue check shirt, standing in front of undergraduates, discussing a topic

Volunteers help students at Homework House

Mount Holyoke College undergraduates volunteer at Homework House, tutoring elementary school students in the city of Holyoke. 

This is photo of David Hernandez

Trump is “dissolving Congress in plain sight”

David Hernández writes that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump has increased his governmental power grab, especially with respect to immigration.

David Hernández

When all Latinx immigrants become “Mexicans”

Professor David Hernández analyzes the meaning behind the increasingly blurred line between Mexicans and other Latinx immigrants.

Associate Professor of Latina/-o Studies David Hernández

Detained children, deplorable conditions

Mount Holyoke’s David Hernández spoke on The Takeaway about the horrifying conditions faced by immigrant children at the Texas border.

Recent Publications

Hernández, D. (2021) "Inheriting Inequality: Hidden Challenges of First-Generation Students." In At the Intersection: Understanding and Supporting First-Generation Students, Robert Longwell-Grice and Hope Longwell-Grice, editors. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. 84-86.

Hernández, D. "Seeing Sanctuary: Separation and Accompaniment," Genealogy 2020 (4(4) 103, October 19, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.mdpi.com/2313-5778/4/4/103https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4040103

Hernández, D., B. Marquez Aldana, I. Anadon, and J. Eason (2020, May 20). "The Hotspots in Hiding: COVID-19 and Immigrant Detention." Medium.com. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@ijanadon/the-hotspots-in-hiding-covid-19-and-immigrant-detention-2b81fd67e9ce

Hernández, D. (2020, April 30). "American Silencing (or, ¡Ya cállanse!, as Mami would say)." Latino Rebels. April 30, 2020. https://www.latinorebels.com/2020/04/30/americansilencing/

Hernández, D., Beatriz Marquez Aldana, Isabel Anadon, and John Eason (2020, May 20). "The Hotspots in Hiding: COVID-19 and Immigrant Detention." Medium.com. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@ijanadon/the-hotspots-in-hiding-covid-19-and-immigrant-detention-2b81fd67e9ce

Recent Awards

Delivered the closing keynote address, "The Whiplash of Immigration Enforcement: Reflections on ’the Trump Era,’” at the Western New England Law Review Symposium, “New Abolitionism: Ending Civil Immigration Detention and Criminalization—Policy, History, and Legal Strategies.” February 27, 2021.

Recent Honors

Published a letter in the New York Times on August 16, 2020, "The Moves Against the Census: A reader says the government's actions obscure accuracy and harm the country." New York Times (print and online editions). https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/16/opinion/letters/census-race.html?fbclid=IwAR1F69G-iwD-C6Bl2QxvEIhjE14rF2YWFGFrpC4phgb8MYtjxjGqUqR106Q

Delivered the research presentation, "Outsourcing Migrant Control: 100 Years of Private Prisons,” at the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University on September 24, 2020.

Interviewed for the radio show, “2020 Talks” by Pacifica Network and the Public News Service.  "Earth Day” and aired April 22, 2020.

Delivered the research presentation, "Smothering Asylum: Kids, Cages, and Political Currency in Migrant Processing," at the Issues in Mental Health Policy Seminar at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City on January 29, 2020.

Delivered the closing keynote address, "The Global Next Door: Local Engagement, Accompaniment, and New Forms of Diversity," at the American Association of Colleges and Universities conference, "Crossing Borders and Boundaries: Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers." San Antonio, Texas, October 19, 2019.