Maria Cristina Garcia

Maria Cristina Garcia is Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies at Cornell University.  She also holds an appointment in the Latino Studies Program. She is a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Garcia teaches and writes about immigration and refugee history. She is the author of Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida (California 1996) which examines the state policies that facilitated the post-revolutionary migration of Cubans to the United States, and the Cubans’ emergence as an influential political lobby and entrepreneurial business community. Her second book, Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada (California, 2006), is a comparative study of the international responses to the Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Nicaraguan refugee crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and the role non-governmental organizations and transnational advocacy networks played in re-framing national debates about immigration and influencing a more responsive refugee policy.

Her most recent work is The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America (Oxford University Press, 2017), which examines the political actors and issues that shaped U.S. refugee and asylum policy since 1989. Two other books are forthcoming: the co-edited anthology, A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered:  The U.S. in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965 and a book on the environmental origins of refugee migrations.  Garcia has also published over a dozen book chapters and articles on refugees and immigrants from Latin America. Garcia is past director of Cornell’s Latino Studies Program and has served as Acting Director of the American Studies Program.  She is a recipient of the Stephen and Margery Russell teaching award and the Kendall S. Carpenter memorial advising board. In her professional life outside Cornell, she serves as the president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (2015-2018).

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Cornell University
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