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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

Beyond the Green Card: Helping Immigrant Women Use Their Professional Skills

April 10, 2013
Photo courtesy of Upwardly Global. When Munara left her home and sought asylum in the US, she thought that she would find opportunities that had been denied to her in Kyrgyzstan because she was a woman. Instead, she struggled to find professional employment -- despite having a master’s degree and experience as the head of the English Department at her country’s leading university. Munara spent four frustrating years working as a taxi driver to support herself and her daughter. All the while, she continued to search for more professional employment. Munara is a skilled immigrant, but not the...
Bao Tram's picture

Immigrant Issues are Women's Issues

April 10, 2013
Photo by Cindia Cameron, 9to5 Immigrants come to the U. S. today for the same reason immigrants have always come here – for the promise of freedom and a better life that is America. We have built our country on the belief that we achieve greatness as a nation when all of us have a fair chance at the American dream. Immigrant issues are women’s issues because we need the same things to achieve that dream – decent jobs, the ability to care for our families, security, opportunity, and justice. But our nation’s immigration system is broken. Immigrants often live in the shadows of our economy and...
Linda Meric's picture

The Real Value of In-Home Care Work in the United States

April 10, 2013
This article originally appeared in the Institute for Women's Policy Research . Baby Boomers, estimated at nearly 80 million in the United States, began turning 65 in 2011.By 2020, the population of older adults is expected to grow to 55 million from 40.4 million in 2010. As more women enter the labor force and fewer are able to care for older family members, providing in-home care to the growing aging population, as well as the disabled and chronically ill, is becoming more critical to a robust U.S. economy. A new briefing paper by IWPR, “Women and the Care Crisis: Valuing In-Home Care in...
Caroline Dobuzinskis's picture

6 Ways Immigration Reform Can Help Women

April 10, 2013
What happens when a feminist, a labor activist and hundreds of immigrants go to Capitol Hill? If what I’ve seen in Washington D.C. the past two days is any indication, a new broad coalition of new bedfellows is taking shape to push for women’s needs to be included as Congress embarks on comprehensive immigration reform. For starters, women’s advocate Sandra Fluke joined the hundreds of immigrant women who work as domestic workers for a rally at a Washington D.C. church Monday morning. Immigrant women rally at Washington D.C. church, Image Credit: Elizabeth Rappaport Historically, feminism and...