The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

What happens when an undocumented teen mother takes on the U.S. immigration system?When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida's mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona. By then, the border had become one of the most heavily policed sites in America....

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Title:The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story
Author:Aaron Bobrow-Strain
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Edition Language:English

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story Reviews

  • Nancy

    The House on Mango Street changed Aida Hernandez's life. In her darkest hours, she remembered the words of hope: "I have gone a long way to come back."

    Aida wanted to dance. She wanted to finish high school and go to college. She wanted to become a therapist. She wanted to give her son a good home. She wanted to love and be loved. Her hopes were just like yours and mine.

    But Aida's life held more horrors than any one body should be able to endure. She had survived even death but suffered from crip

    The House on Mango Street changed Aida Hernandez's life. In her darkest hours, she remembered the words of hope: "I have gone a long way to come back."

    Aida wanted to dance. She wanted to finish high school and go to college. She wanted to become a therapist. She wanted to give her son a good home. She wanted to love and be loved. Her hopes were just like yours and mine.

    But Aida's life held more horrors than any one body should be able to endure. She had survived even death but suffered from crippling CPTSD--Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She came from a legacy of abuse but a knife attack tipped her over the edge. It only took one mistake, a $6 mistake, to remove Aida from her son and family, locked up for months in a women's prison. They were not given tampons, or enough toilet paper, or adequate wholesome food. There were not enough beds or blankets to keep warm.

    And that is when Aida saw The House on Mango Street on the prison library shelf and it started her reclamation and a life of helping the other women with her.

    Aaron Bobrow-Strain's book The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez brings to life unforgettable women, and through their stories, explores the failure of Prevention Through Deterrence which posits that if the journey is horrific enough people will not come. Women suffer the most in this system.

    He shows how American economic and political policies and the desire for cheap labor created the influx of illegal immigrants.

    Immigrants in detention centers are treated like hardened criminals with shackles, solitary confinement, lack of medical care, meager inedible food, and a scarcity of hygiene supplies. They have no legal rights. They are provided no legal counsel. Border Patrol and detention centers have created jobs and business--paid for by the government.

    Who are the people seeking refuge in America? What drives them from their homeland? What options are available for legal immigration? What happens to those who are apprehended? This book will answer all your questions. But you may not like the answers.

    Justice. How many times have we forgotten this value?

    The proceeds from this book will be shared between Aida Hernandez, the Chiricahua Community Health Centers to support emergency services for people dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault, and the author to offset costs of writing the book. Which for me means an instant add to my "to buy" list.

    I thank the publisher who provided a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  • Holly

    This initially stood out to me because of the reversal of "life and death" in the title. It's required reading, not just in the age of Trump, but in the age of humanity, or an age where humanity is the same as it's always been, cruel and binary. Aaron Bobrow-Strain has an immense gift for nonfiction prose, and Aida Hernandez is well-served here, if not in life. This is a book I'll be recommending for the rest of my life. Claro que sí, I wish I wouldn't have to.

  • Kathleen Gray

    Sad, timely, and the sort of book that could help people understand the humans behind the pictures on tv. Aida's life should not have gone the way it does but she's a determined woman. Coming from nothing, she built a life and then had it yanked from under her. She never gives up on her dream. The idea that making it hard will stop people from coming is inane. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Nothing but good wishes toward Aida.

  • Connie

    excellent

  • Joseph

    This is a great book. The author tells a really messy, complicated story--and does it beautifully. By weaving together very disparate streams of life, history, and geography, he illuminates so much. As he puts it, it's not a book about Aida Hernandez, but about the world we have made for her. There's a good deal of joy and laughter in the book, but it is one largely of pain.

  • Natalie Lerner

    I would strongly recommend this book to everyone! An incredibly compelling and comprehensive read, I felt both educated and moved

  • Jill Dobbe

    An incredible story based on the life of Aida Hernandez, a Mexican woman who made her way to the U.S. only to experience one disaster after another, among them abuse, prison, homelessness, joblessness and poverty. The one shining light in her life was her son and she did everything she possibly could to keep them together.

    The author learned of Aida and her story and through many interviews, along with his own research, turned her story, and the story of others, into a book. A timely border story

    An incredible story based on the life of Aida Hernandez, a Mexican woman who made her way to the U.S. only to experience one disaster after another, among them abuse, prison, homelessness, joblessness and poverty. The one shining light in her life was her son and she did everything she possibly could to keep them together.

    The author learned of Aida and her story and through many interviews, along with his own research, turned her story, and the story of others, into a book. A timely border story that incorporates the history and difficulties of Mexicans migrating to the U.S. Aida's story, and others who tried and failed to relocate to the U.S., will resonate with readers who also follow the U.S. government's stand on immigration, a system that continues to be broken.

    Reading this book, it's hard to believe everything that Aida went through. It's not an easy life for immigrants, even once they get to the U.S. Aida, however, persevered and built a life for her son and for herself. I only hope that she has finally found some peace and stability wherever she is living now.

    Thank you Netgalley.

  • Jennifer Rico

    This is a great story, although heartbreaking. It follows Aida Hernandez, and her fight for a decent life after leaving Mexico for America.

    The writing in the book is great, and the story flows well. I couldn't put it down!

  • Annie

    very good book. heartbreakingly straightforward about what Aida suffered to gain residency.

    unbiased info about immigration system and history.

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