Migrating to Prison: César Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez Drops In
February 19, 2021
Hosted by Diane Dewey
Where once the United States rarely imprisoned people for violating immigration law, today the country runs the largest immigration prison system in the world. In Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández takes a hard look at immigration prisons. Political opportunism and profit have shaped government policy at an enormous cost to human life and the legal system. For those reasons, Migrating to Prison urgently calls for the abolition of immigration prisons. César’s analyses of policies affecting migrants regularly appear in media in the United States and abroad. He has published opinion articles in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Time, and many other venues. Through hundreds of interviews, he has lent his expert analysis to journalists in Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and the United States. He also served two terms as a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration.
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At Dropping In we’ll explore diverse stories about identity. By listening to others talk about their own path, ours becomes less fearful. Where are we now and how do we meet the challenges? Dropping In is a place of discovery. We might believe that our life experiences are uniquely our own. Yet there’s a community of people that are here to bear witness, to relate to, link arms with and support us. They join us on Dropping In, tackling subjects like breaking into your dream business, cultural differences, child abuse, mental illness, shamanism, gender search, religious shunning, and fitting in as a marginalized outsider. These can feel like lonesome tasks. How do others find their power? Listening to their personal truths validates our own. Drop into the conversation to find the common threads, your uniqueness and our shared experience as humans.
My most pressing question has always been about identity: Who am I? Growing up near Philadelphia with my adoptive family, my genetic identity was hidden. Then, my Swiss biological father, Otto, contacted me when I was age forty-seven in 2002. I’d been told by my adoptive parents that my biological parents were dead, supposedly to protect me. Meeting Otto upended my life. Through him, I met my German biological mother’s family to discover that her story too, had been changed; that she’d not wanted to surrender me and she’d searched for me all her life. Finding my truth was essential.
Based on my experience I am excited to talk to people about their own search for identity. My education includes a BA from Villanova University, a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I’ve worked for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The SoHo Partnership and the National Academy of Design and have studied writing through New York University’s Continuing Education program. As an entrepreneur, I founded my art appraisal business, The Realization of Art in 2006. My non-fiction writing has been published in Shared Space, a monograph, and in Artes online magazine. Writing workshops worldwide have given me the chance to learn and hone my craft. My first book, “Fixing the Fates,” was awarded the National Non-Fiction Author’s Association Silver Medal and the Living Now Award.