Immigration & Migration

Worldwide, there are more than 190 million migrants living outside their countries of origin, nearly half of them women. Women may migrate out of choice but they are usually driven by necessity: poverty, conflict, domestic violence, natural disaster or oppressive political or cultural conditions. In North America, immigrant women have outnumbered immigrant men since 1930, yet their progress in education, income and status has lagged and policymakers have often overlooked their unique challenges and contributions. For instance, although they occupy lower-wage jobs, immigrant women send a much higher proportion of their earnings to their home countries than do immigrant men. Compared to non-immigrant women, immigrant women face higher rates of unemployment and are much more likely to live in poverty and suffer abuse or discrimination.

NCRW Policy Brief: Immigration

In recent years, immigration has figured prominently in national politics and has become a cause of concern for communities and cities across the United States. While much attention has been focused on pathways to citizenship, the cost of unauthorized migration to states and cities, and how to secure national borders, very little attention has been paid to the plight of women immigrants and the additional challenges they encounter because of their gender, including their additional responsibilities as mothers and caregivers.

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NCRW Fact Sheet: Women, Immigration and Work

Many women immigrate to the United States with the aim of escaping financial insecurity, exploitation, and sexual harassment. Immigrant women have a harder time finding jobs than men and are often forced into the underground economy where they continue to experience exploitation. Immigrant women deserve the same workplace rights as native-born women in the U.S.: the right to fair and safe work.

NCRW Fact Sheet: Under the Radar--Immigrant Women and Violence

Violence against immigrant women is nearly impossible to estimate with any precision. Immigration status, cultural and language barriers, and economic hardship intersect and often prevent women who experience violence from coming forward. The two most common forms of abuse experienced by immigrant women are intimate partner violence and exploitative work conditions.

NCRW Fact Sheet: Women and Immigrant Rights

Unlike immigrant men, immigrant women are often caught in a double bind and suffer abuse and violence both crossing the borders and on the job. They also tend to receive inadequate and low wages, have higher family caretaking demands and reproductive health care needs.

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NCRW Fact Sheet: Immigrant Women--Access to Health Insurance, Healthcare and Public Services

Immigrant women face particular hardship in accessing basic health and other vital services due to a series of legal, social and cultural barriers that prevent them from exercising their civil rights. More efforts need to be focused at the local, state and national levels to ensure that their needs are recognized and addressed.

NCRW Fact Sheet: Immigrant Women--Access to Education

Immigrant women face particular hardship in accessing basic educational opportunities due to a series of legal, social and cultural barriers that prevent them from exercising their civil rights. More efforts need to be focused at the local, state and national levels to ensure that their needs are recognized and addressed.

Expert Profile

Location: 
United States
40° 42' 13.932" N, 74° 0' 49.8744" W

Silvia Henriquez is responsible for the overall management, fundraising and administration of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Silvia has positioned NLIRH as one of the leading organizations working to advance the reproductive health and rights of Latinas. Within the first two years of her tenure, she increased national visibility through the 2004 March for Women’s Lives and the National Latina Summit. Subsequently under her leadership, NLIRH has developed a successful organizing and leadership development training curriculum, a national policy agenda and built coalitions with state and national partners that advance a reproductive justice advocacy effort. Through her work at NLIRH, Silvia has published articles in “Social Policy, Organizing for Social and Economic Justice and Democratic Participation” and “Conscience, The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion.”

Location

New York, NY 10004
United States
40° 42' 13.932" N, 74° 0' 49.8744" W

FAST FACT: Immigrant women made up approximately 12 percent of all women in the United States in 2008

December 17, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

The Migration Policy Institute just published a spotlight on immigrant women. It includes the latest data on labor force participation and socioeconomic status. Here’s a preview:

  • The 18.9 million immigrant women in the United States in 2008 made up approximately 12 percent of all women in the country.
  • While the majority of immigrant women had a high school degree or higher, they were less likely than immigrant men to have a bachelor's or advanced degree.
  • Nearly a third of immigrant female workers in fall 2009 were employed in service occupations

For many more stats as well as related articles, click here.

 


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Engendering Justice: Women, Prisons and Change

In the last decade, we have witnessed the population of incarcerated women increase to 400 percent. Building on this development, Rebecca Haimowitz reflects on the interlinkage between incarceration and issues such as race, class, education, national identity, and gender conformity. 

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“Understanding Plyler’s Legacy: Voices from Border Schools,” Nina Rabin Mary Carol Combs, and Norma Gonzalez, Journal of Law and Education (2008)

"Understanding Plyler's Legacy: Voices from Border Schools," Nina Rabin Mary Carol Combs, and Norma Gonzalez, Journal of Law and Education (2008) concerns the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that prevented states from denying undocumented immigrant children a free primary and secondary public education on the basis of their legal status.

URL: 
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/centers/ewi/RabinCombsGonzalezJLEDarticleonPlyler.doc
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