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Without Economic and Safety Reforms, Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence are at Increased Risk

April 15, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in National Network to End Domestic Violence . Domestic violence victims often describe feeling like prisoners in their own homes – beaten and controlled by abusive partners, silenced, isolated and shamed, without the protections or resources to leave and find safety. For immigrant victims of domestic violence, this sense of imprisonment is even more pronounced, because their abusers have additional weapons to use against them – their dependent immigration status or lack of legal status. They threaten victims with deportation and with having their children...
Kim Gandy's picture

Pictures from #TimeIsNow Immigration Rally!

April 12, 2013
Photo on right: Many of us who participated in the rally waved signs that read, "Immigration Reform Is Central to Women's Equality." The amazing artwork on the signs is by Favianna Rodriguez . Washington, D.C. -- has long advocated for the needs and dignity of all women, children and families in our country, regardless of where they were born. We were proud to witness history on Wednesday when tens of thousands of Americans -- including those who aspire to become U.S. citizens -- gathered in front of the Capitol building to call on Congress and the President to reform our...
Elisa Batista's picture

Immigration Policy Reform Can't Ignore Women

April 11, 2013
Women comprise only 18 percent of Congress. Women comprise 0 percent of the "Gang of Eight" Senators who are drafting immigration reform policy right now. Yet, over 50 percent of all immigrants are women ; and if you add children, then that group accounts for two-thirds of all immigrants to our country. Wonder who might be getting left out as this new policy is being drafted? Women. As we anticipate a bipartisan consensus from the Senate's "Gang of Eight" attempting to improve our immigration policies, women and mothers across the nation hope they emerge with a bill that reflects the...
Kristin's picture

Immigrant Women Strengthen American Democracy

April 10, 2013
Within the current debate on immigration reform, an organized movement of women’s voices has emerged to uplift the significance of women to our economy, democracy and communities. As an immigrant woman, whose personal and professional experiences are deeply informed by immigration, I believe citizenship and civic engagement are twin pillars of a strong democracy. My story, like those of many other immigrant women, demonstrates a determination to achieve legal status, a willingness to overcome obstacles, and a deep enthusiasm for my new nationality. I am the daughter of immigrants, the wife of...
Sayu Bhojwani's picture

This is Our Marty McFly Moment

April 10, 2013
Remember that scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly discovers that he and his siblings are fading out of a family photograph? That’s the exact feeling I have when I follow the news about immigration policy reform efforts that would eliminate family visas. First, let’s flash back, like Marty McFly did to the mid-1950s, 1952 to be precise. You might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t until 1952 that the US passed an immigration law that allowed immigrants from Asia to become citizens. That’s right – even though you remember learning about the Chinese workers during the Gold Rush, or...
Miriam Yeung's picture

Farmworker Women and the Heavy Burdens They Bear

April 10, 2013
Photo caption: A farmworker woman picking grapes. Many farmworker women cover their faces to protect themselves from pesticides while they work. Farmworker women also use bandanas on the job to cover their faces and bodies in an attempt to ward off unwanted sexual attention that often leads to rape. Farmworkers carry the weight of the US food system on their backs. Farmworker women’s load, however, is especially heavy: They work tirelessly in fields and orchards harvesting the fruits and vegetables that we all eat, while facing dangerous conditions, low pay, discriminatory treatment, and...
Valentina Stackl's picture

Justice for Immigrant Women is a Religious Issue

April 10, 2013
As a Catholic, my commitment to justice and dignity for immigrant women is rooted not only in Scripture, but also in experience. My church, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington, DC, holds Masses in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Haitian Creole. Women from diverse walks of life are the lifeblood of the parish: organizing bake sales and religious education programs, serving on parish council together, and decorating the sanctuary at Christmas and Easter. The people selling pupusas and crafts at tables outside the church on Sundays are female immigrants. Many of my meetings with...
Jessica Barba Brown's picture

Why Immigration Policy Is ‘Sexclusionary’ (and How To Fix It)

April 10, 2013
This article originally appeared in Colorlines and was re-published here with the author's permission. If you’ve been following the current debate and news coverage, you probably think that immigration reform is mainly about men—the undocumented males scaling border walls, working in agriculture, doing construction work and writing code. And when you do see women, they are normally portrayed either as helpless victims of detention or deportation or as conniving leeches delivering what anti-immigrants call “anchor babies.” Between this male-centered media narrative, and the fact that the...
Pramila Jayapal's picture

We Call for Immigration Reform as Women, as Jews

April 10, 2013
A few weeks ago, almost 400 women from across the country headed to Capitol Hill as part of their participation in the National Council of Jewish Women’s (NCJW) policy conference. And in more than 150 visits, comprehensive immigration reform was one of the key issues discussed with congressional offices. Over the course of the weekend, we had debated, discussed, and shared stories about several policy topics, including immigration and the need for reform, and talked extensively about immigration. From California to Minnesota, Florida to Ohio, women came to Washington and shared their personal...
Madeline Shepherd's picture

Immigration Reform: Good Old Fashioned Common Sense

April 10, 2013
In February of 1971, at the age of twenty-one my mother arrived from Guatemala to the United States. She was a teacher in her country of birth and brought those skills to her new home in the United States. Like many immigrants who came before her, she saw this country as the land of opportunity and she raised me with a deep pride in the United States and the promise that it holds. As the daughter of immigrants, my story on immigration is a very personal one. It is the story of my young mother making her way first as a teacher in the U.S. school system and then in the corporate world, working...
Kety Esquivel's picture