Activists aren’t just targeting House leaders — they’re also trying to correct the image that immigration reform is only about undocumented male workers. During a press conference, organized by the pro-immigration group We Belong Together, on Tuesday, with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), feminist leader Gloria Steinem pushed the notion that immigration reform is a women’s issue — 75 percent of all immigrants are women and children, while 51 percent of all undocumented workers are women. Because of deportation fears, undocumented females are reluctant to report domestic abuse and other crimes against them.
Organizers say immigration reform is a women's issue at heart
The women’s rights community is not giving up on immigration reform.
Though the bill that hurtled the Senate is likely dead in the water in the House, women’s groups took to the National Press Club on Tuesday to focus attention on the impact immigrant laws have on women—using the star power of feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem to propel them forward.
Gloria Steinem, 79, is a writer and feminist activist who led the women’s liberation movement during the sixties and seventies. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. Magazine and was one of its editors for 15 years. Steinem has written four bestselling books on women’s issues and has helped organizations seeking to promote the role of women in education, media and politics. She has also produced work to promote awareness on child abuse, reproductive health and the death penalty.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2013
Leslie Patterson, 646-200-5326
(Washington, DC)—The day before she receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for her leadership on women’s rights, Gloria Steinem identified the passage of immigration reform as critical to the fight for women’s equality at a panel discussion and press conference held by We Belong Together, an organization advocating for immigration reform that treats women humanely and fairly.
Gloria Stienem joined Senator Mazie Hirono and other women leaders for a press conference to discuss why immigration reform is a top women's issue
Gloria Steinem joined We Belong Together at the National Press Club on November 19th, the day before she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to talk about why immigration reform is a top women's issue. She was joined by Senator Mazie Hirono — the only immigrant Senator and a champion of the most women-friendly provisions of the Senate immigration bill -- as well as impacted women and leaders Barbara Young, Maria A. and Pramila Jayapal.
You don't have to be an immigrant to care about reform. Whether you're a U.S. citizen or undocumented, the issue affects everyone — especially young American women.
1. Immigration is a women's issue.
Though the media and political pundits insist on almost exclusively showing us images of male undocumented immigrants, the fact of the matter is that about 3/4 of all immigrants are women and children!
TWO weeks ago, 33 women were arrested in Bellevue for refusing to leave the Washington state GOP headquarters until the state’s four Republican congressional representatives agreed to advance a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. House.
The participants were diverse immigrant and nonimmigrant women from unions, immigrant-rights and women’s organizations. Even the Seattle mayor’s wife, Peggy Lynch, participated.
Immigration Vote Unlikely This Year, Lawmaker Says
Why immigration is a major issue for women
We Belong Together has identified six core priorities that must be included to address the needs of women and children in any comprehensive immigration reform:
- Include a broad and clear roadmap to citizenship that recognizes the contributions of women’s work and women workers,
especially those in the informal economy.