Common Sense Immigration ReformWomen in communities across the country are affected by U.S. immigration policies that undermine their and their families’ wellbeing. The following profiles illustrate some of the impacts of these policies on women’s lives, as well as the need for an immigration process that will ensure that women are treated humanely and fairly. These stories speak to the need for common sense immigration reform that will allow these women, and the many others like them, to contribute their skills and talents to our economy and our communities. came to the U.S. ten years ago on a six-month visa as a companion for a woman with a disability who needed live-in care. Upon arrival, she was told she was not allowed to leave the house, she was given only a cot on which to sleep, and received no pay for months. Maria finally escaped her situation, and now cleans houses and is a member of a local domestic workers group that advocates for improved protections for immigrant workers. She has six different employers but no contract or record of employment with any of them.
Maria is a leader in her community and, like so many other immigrant women, does work that is essential but hidden.
is an 80 year-old widowed caregiver who immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1989. She, her husband, and her youngest son were petitioned by her father, who had received U.S. citizenship after serving in World War II. Since then, Fely has struggled to be reunited with the rest of her children, three of whom are still in the Philippines. When she became a U.S. citizen in 1996, Fely petitioned for her three children to join her in the U.S. Now, seventeen years later, she is still waiting, and even at age 80 she still must work to support her family in the Philippines, where work is scarce. Last year, she was told that it will be at least four more years before a visa becomes available, and Fely despairs that her family may never be fully reunited. Fely is one of countless U.S. citizens who are unable to reunite with their family members as a result of family sponsorship backlogs.
is a National Guard Captain and student body president of JFK University. The daughter of a Japanese dad and an American mom, she fell in love and built a home with an immigrant woman. However, when her partner Zaina’s student visa runs out she is unlikely to get an employment visa. At that time she will either become undocumented or have to return to her native Lebanon. Susan hopes for a future where she can marry and sponsor her partner and not have to choose between her love for her country and her love for Zaina. Susan and Zaina are just one of thousands of loving same-sex couples caught in an immigration system that fails to honor the love and commitment of all families, and Zaina is one of the many talented women who are excluded by current work visa priorities.
is a University of Washington law student and human trafficking survivor from Bangladesh. Yasmin was trafficked to the U.S. by her father, a white American with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Many of Yasmin’s relatives (many of whom were children) were held against their will, raped, and beaten. Yasmin witnessed it all and was forced to work alongside her relatives from dawn to dusk on her father’s farm. Yasmin’s story highlights the need for protections for victims of trafficking and violence.
is nineteen years old and works in a middle school in Southern California. When she was fourteen, Eliza’s mother Esther (a single mother) was detained while driving to pick her daughter up at school. For several days, Eliza had no information on her mother’s whereabouts, until she learned that she had been taken into detention and deported to Mexico. In the years that followed, Eliza moved numerous times, staying with family members and acquaintances. She says that her mother’s deportation made her feel empty, hopeless, alone, and angry at a time when she needed her mother most.
Like Eliza, thousands of U.S. citizen children are separated from their parents as a result of deportations and detentions.
is a domestic violence survivor who was afraid to call the police when her husband abused her, because of her immigration status and her husband’s threats to report her to immigration officials. He eventually did report her, and Adriana was detained for four months. While she was detained, Adriana was unable to speak with her children, and her husband abused their daughter. Adriana was eventually released from detention and fought in court to remove her children from their father. Due to protections under the Violence Against Women Act, she is now a green card holder, and is a volunteer who works with other women in similar situations. Adriana has experienced first-hand the lack of due process protections for women within the detention system, and she now works daily with women whose safety is at risk as a result of their immigration status.de detenciones, y ahora trabaja a diario con mujeres cuya seguridad está en riesgo debido a sus estatus migratorio.

Source: http://www.webelongtogether.org/sites/default/files/WomensStories.pdf

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