María Cristina García is the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History at Cornell University, where she teaches courses on immigration history. She is the author of Seeking Refuge: Central American migration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada (2006); Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida (1996); and articles and book chapters on refugee migrations and immigrant populations from Latin America. Garcia is Vice-President/President-Elect of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. She serves on the Advisory Board of the forthcoming PBS series “The Latino Americans”, and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of American History, the Journal of American Ethnic History, and Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos. She is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. García received her B.A. from Georgetown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Project Summary

Garcia’s project examines how the humanitarian and political challenges of the post-Cold War era have altered definitions of—and policies toward—refugees and asylum seekers in the United States. Garcia pays particular attention to the role of the Courts and nongovernmental actors in the refugee determination process and in national debates about asylum, border security, and immigration reform.

Major Publications

  • "Seeking Refuge: A History of Central American Migration to Mexico, the United States, and Canada". University of California Press, 2006.
  • "Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994". University of California Press, 1996.
  • “Central American migration and the shaping of refugee policy. In Migrants and Migration in Modern North America: Cross-Border Lives, Labor Markets, and Politics in Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States". Dirk Hoerder and Nora Faires, eds. Duke University Press, 2011.