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Dignity

April 10, 2013
Fourteen years ago, a woman named Arline asked me on a date. She took me to lunch in downtown Seattle, where we ate oysters and watched ferries glide away from the dock. I couldn't have imagined then what it would mean to share my life with an immigrant. It turns out that it means many things, but perhaps of most consequence is that I am constantly learning about life through the eyes of someone whose first twenty-five years were radically different from mine. Arline left Panama with her husband and three young children in 1979. Her half-sister was a U.S. citizen because she was born in...
Allison Green's picture

Unequal Pay Day for Immigrant Women

April 9, 2013
Each year Equal Pay Day highlights the continued disparity in pay between men and women in the United States. In 2011 women who worked full time and year round earned only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. That wage gap persists and is even more pronounced in the immigrant community: An immigrant woman who has naturalized earns just 75 cents to a naturalized man’s dollar, and undocumented immigrant women from Mexico are even more disadvantaged, earning only 71 cents for every dollar that undocumented men from Mexico earn. There are 5.4 million undocumented women living in America, and...
Ann Garcia's picture

Why Immigration Is A Women’s Matter

March 29, 2013
(Photo: In a packed Presbyterian church in D.C., the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health brought down the house with chants for dignity and respect of all immigrant women. The event, held on March 18, 2013, brought out 500 people, including NLIRH members, Congressional leaders, partner organizations and the media.) Last week, I had the honor of partaking in a series of events in D.C. to advocate for immigrant women. I attended a rally put on by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. As part of the We Belong Together women’s coalition, I attended a reception and...
Elisa Batista's picture

A CIR Bill That Puts Families First

March 28, 2013
Earlier this month, some members of the Senate announced they are considering plans to reduce the family visa program and eliminate the ability for an American citizen to sponsor their sibling and adult children. These latest discussions fall drastically short of what communities want in a comprehensive immigration reform legislation. As if it wasn't bad enough that families have waited years for real policy changes, now some are being left out of the conversation altogether and possibly face the unbearable pain of being separated from their loved ones indefinitely. We all know immigration is...
Jane Yoo's picture

Why I Support the "Bring Rodrigo Home" Campaign

March 25, 2013
This blog post was written in favor of the Bring Rodrigo Home campaign, which is calling for the return of Rodrigo Guzman and his family who, despite their contributions to their community, were detained by ICE and returned to their native Mexico. I am admittedly liberal in many of my political beliefs, but when it comes to immigration, my opinion has been shaped 100 percent by first-hand experience, not politics. My husband came here when he was 22 because he wanted to learn English. He went to college in Brazil, but it was nearly impossible to ever get ahead. Like many immigrants, he...
Anne-Marie Praetzel's picture

Bring Rodrigo Home - Kids For Kids!

March 22, 2013
My name is Reyna Diaz Mayida and my life changed in Houston, Texas on January 10, 2013. Houston was where my family and I were refused entry back into the US from Mexico. It was where we were turned away from coming home to Berkeley, California. I always returned to Mexico to renew my passport and would always comply with the law by renewing my visa every six months. Every six months my partner, our son Rodrigo and I would go to Tijuana to renew our visas. But we grew afraid. The boarder patrol agents there would ask a lot of questions and by then our son, Rodrigo, did not speak Spanish very...
Reyna Diaz's picture

Undocumented reform: What D.C.'s new immigration mojo means for Washington State

February 4, 2013
This article first appeared in Crosscut.com . It’s game on for immigration reform in 2013 . Prospects for a real immigration bill this year took a big step forward last week as a bipartisan “Gang of Eight” Senators released its framework for an immigration bill , and President Obama staked out his own position with a speech and a written set of principles. Washington State stands to benefit greatly from an inclusive, humane and comprehensive immigration reform bill. This two-part series will analyze the core elements of last week's two immigration proposals. (Neither is a bill yet, just the...
Pramila Jayapal's picture

President Obama’s immigration speech in Vegas; thinking about families and our nation’s economy

February 3, 2013
What happens in Vegas shouldn't always stay in Vegas. Earlier this week, in a crammed high school basketball stadium in Las Vegas, I heard President Obama speak about the need to finally, truly fix our broken immigration system so that it's fair and also brings economic strength to our entire nation. Right now, too many families and businesses in the United States are suffering because we lack a modernized roadmap to citizenship for aspiring citizens. The clock is ticking for families and for our economy. According to the latest Associated Press poll, the majority of Americans favor providing...
Mary O's picture

We have to fix this

February 2, 2013
A few years ago I saw a video that shocked me : Two young children crying, alone in a car, reaching out for their mother who'd been taken away by armed deputies wearing ski masks after being stopped for a minor traffic violation. The images haven't left me. A nightmare, right? Never in America? Wrong. A local NBC news report described the incident through the eyes of a witness, "…the deputies were wearing ski masks and detained the children's mother for about an hour while her children watched, crying." This wasn't an isolated incident. In fact, across the country repeated civil rights...
Kristin's picture

Immigrants are People Who Move

February 1, 2013
For my grandmother, Obdulia Olivella, moving was a part of life. She was born in El Salvador and moved to Panama as a young woman to help her U.S.-born husband start a business. Over the next couple of decades, they would move with four children in tow to the United States, back to Panama, then to Venezuela and ultimately settling permanently in the United States. Families move. Immigrants are people who move. Thankfully, for my grandmother, due to her personal circumstances, it was not difficult to obtain U.S. citizenship. But this is not the case for the 11 million people currently living...
Mary O's picture

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