The Immigrant Woman Story

May 15, 2009 by Jill Garvey · Comment
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

Women as immigrants are just beginning to be recognized, but that hasn’t lessened the dual hardships of womanhood and immigration. Whether it be through detention, poverty, domestic abuse, or discrimination; the challenges many American women face are compounded for immigrant women. A recent poll released by New America Media dives deep into the real lives and impact of immigrant women on this nation:

The story of migration, as it has traditionally been told, has been a masculine epic. But in the latter part of the 20th century, as women began immigrating to America in ever-growing numbers, the migration story became increasing a woman’s tale as well. Women are now on the move, as much as men. But their narrative is different from that of their male predecessors -– they are migrating not as lone individuals but as members, even heads, of families, determined to keep family bonds intact even as they travel great distances and adapt to new cultures.

Until the last half of the 20th century, there was a great gender imbalance, with males predominating in the migrant stream. Today, this balance has shifted to the point that women actually comprise half or more of the immigrants entering this country. Equally dramatic, women now make up more than half of the migrant population worldwide.

While immigrant women are more proactive about gaining citizenship and civic engagement in general, they are also more vulnerable to an immigration and detention system that leaves little room for humanity and is rife with abuse. Read more