A Feminist Call For Immigration Reform, As Momentum Stalls in Congress

Organizers say immigration reform is a women's issue at heart

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AP / Carolyn Kaster

People shout out against the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act in the hall outside the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

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.

“A vote against immigration reform, or inaction on this issue,” said Pramila Jayapal, the co-chair of the women’s immigration group We Belong Together, “is really a vote against women, children, and families.”

Women make up about 51% of the immigrant population, according to the Census.“The truth of the matter is,” Steinem said Tuesday, “there is an unrealistic portrayal of who immigrants really are.”

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Congressman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) were also among Tuesday’s speakers. Hirono said a number of women’s issues aren’t taken into account in reform legislation. Though there are provisions geared directly at easing citizenship for those employed in the science, technology and agriculture fields, there are no protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are women.

“Our new immigration system is inadvertently disadvantaging women,” said Sen. Hirono, who voted in favor of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Act in June. Royal-Allard, on the other hand, just wants an opportunity to vote on the bill. “Let’s at least get a vote,” she said. “If we get a change to vote in the House, it will pass.”

Last week, however, Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters that he doesn’t intend to go to conference on the Senate’s immigration reform bill and he will not allow any House-passed legislation to blend with the Senate version. President Obama said on Tuesday that he is optimistic that reform will pass, adding that he is open to dealing with immigration reform in bites at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council conference. “If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces,” President Obama said.  “As long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like as long as it’s actually delivering on those core values that we talk about.” At the same event, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said there is not enough time to take up immigration reform during this session.

Gloria Steinem told TIME, however, that even without a vote the movement to bring women to the forefront of conversations surrounding immigration reform will continue. If a vote doesn’t happen, Steinem said, “It means danger. It means insecurity. And it means we have to take care of each other by other means.”

23 comments
SoulSurvivor60
SoulSurvivor60

Feminist push immigration because it benefits their massive welfare state agenda, chaos and confusion keeps them in their position to continue debauching culture and deconstructing the Western world.

Romantic_Romeo
Romantic_Romeo

Babu G Ranganathan:

You're talking nonsense. I too am of Indian descent.

I guess you want amnesty because you want the USA to resemble the filthy squalor that third world countries like Mexico or India are?

You cannot expect the current generation of Americans to pay for the sins of our ancestors who took the land from Mexico, just as it wouldn't be fair to send YOU to jail, say for example, if your grandfather was a child molester. So don't make it sound as if we, the current generation owe anything to Mexico.

Do you not understand simple economics of Demand and Supply? and how increase in labor force will drive down wages?

Can't you figure out that yes, they pay taxes, but take out thrice as much, in benefits? If granting amnesty was such a good idea, then tell me why every developed country is not extending open arms to import uneducated non-English speaking folks? 

Are you too dense to realize Obama wants amnesty to create a new class of welfare dependent voters who will always vote Democrat?

Can't you figure out Big Business supports amnesty to get cheap labor? Getting people to sit in America and work for third world wages is even cheaper than outsourcing jobs to India.

IT's all about money, the bottomlime is MONEY.

Lastly, go get yourself a hobby, instead of wasting your time, typing such long feel-good nonsense type essays that are totally devoid of common sense. 

And by deliberately using your real name, you are more interested in trying to fool your friends into believeing you're a "kind, loving, compassionate" person. Don't worry, all your friends who read this, are smart enough to figure out you are nothing more than a traitor to AMerica, trying to pretend to be a saint. HYPOCRITE.


BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

THE UNITED STATES OWES MEXICO

Babu G. Ranganathan

I am an evangelical Christian and a United States citizen of Asian Indian origin. Having said that, let me say that we are committing a great injustice in how we are dealing with Mexican immigration and the status of illegal Mexican workers in the United States. Congress ought to support President Bush's idea of a guest-worker program for illegal Mexican workers in the United States. We do owe something to Mexico and its people.

In the 19th century the United States, which was experiencing great industrial, technological and economic growth, sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean. But, there was one big problem. Mexico was in the way. Western land belonged to Mexico. So, the United States invented a doctrine called Manifest Destiny that said the nation that could better use the land had the right to it. We forcibly took what are now California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from Mexico. This was raw aggression and it was morally wrong. When we seized these lands from Mexico they became first U.S. territories ruled directly from Washington D.C. Afterwards, when enough Americans from other parts of the country settled into these territories, the federal government in Washington allowed the people in the territories to vote on statehood and to have their own individual state governments.

The historical evidence shows that America provoked war with Mexico. Why should this be hard to believe? After all, the U.S. didn't invent the doctrine of Manifest Destiny for nothing. History shows that American military forces invented reasons and excuses to go to war with Mexico. There's no reason to believe Mexico would start a war with militarily superior U.S. Certainly, Mexico didn't have any doctrine of manifest destiny to justify conquering U.S. territory.

The U.S. has done much that is good in the world, but it also has done much wrong. The idea that the United States cannot do wrong is blasphemy! Only God cannot do wrong..

The U.S. can partly correct the great injustice and wrong committed against Mexico by giving legal status to Mexican workers in the U.S. who are doing jobs that most Americans refuse to do. No one is being hurt and everyone wins. But, isn't this giving amnesty to illegal immigrants? Not completely because Americans do owe Mexico at least this much for taking hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory from them. Also, in life there is a time for mercy as well as a time for justice. In this case it is even practical on the part of America to give mercy. There is no conceivable way that the U.S. can deport the millions of Mexicans already here, and the employment vacuum this will cause will be felt in everyone's pocket book. Americans are taking a lot of the work they do for granted. Americans would definitely feel the pain if all the illegal Mexicans were to leave.

The overwhelming majority of Mexican workers are law-abiding and work very hard for low wages but that money means a lot for them and their families back home. They do pay billions in payroll taxes. Yes, they may have gotten their social security and I.D. numbers on the black market, but the tax money that's withdrawn weekly from their paychecks is very real. If they were given legal status they would be paying even more in taxes. With all the baby boomers retiring soon we'll need all the hard earned tax money from Mexican workers. We've aborted or killed nearly forty million unborn babies since Roe vs. Wade, so we don't have enough people in the workforce to support social security once all the baby boomers retire.

These immigrant workers are not the "barbarians at the gates of Rome" as Pat Buchanan dramatizes them to be. They probably have far superior moral and family values than that of your average American. They're even the same religion as Pat Buchanan: Roman Catholic. Within a couple of generations, if not sooner, these Mexicans will have become Americanized and be speaking and writing fluent English. Other immigrants, the Irish, Italians, etc. have done so within a couple of generations. No, Pat, America is not going down!

I am not excusing their illegal entry into the United States. But, as a nation we can forgive and provide amnesty. Why did so many illegally immigrate anyway? That they may feed their starving families and offer a better life for their families. They didn't come here to plunder, rape, and kill. Yes, some may commit crimes but not the vast majority. The vast majority came for a better life and they are contributing. They are not taking someone else's identity and then stealing from their bank accounts and stock portfolio. Their identities are made up, for the most part, de novo which is illegal but it is not the taking of someone else's identity, and, again, it is not so that they can steal, rape, and plunder someone else's money and property, but so that they may work to feed their families back in Mexico, many who are suffering because of Mexico's economic policies.

Let's do what's right, just, merciful, and compassionate and give amnesty to our hard working fellow human laborers from south of the border.

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East."

TycheSD
TycheSD

The movement to force our government to legalize millions of people who came to this country illegally is not an American "rights" issue.  These people are law breakers.  They attempted to jump to the head of the line by crossing the border illegally or overstaying their visas.  There are rule-abiding immigrants who have waited years to come here legally.  Who should we reward?

TycheSD
TycheSD

There are millions of American women who are suffering in poverty.  Why isn't Steinem concerned about them?  

TerryT.Magyar
TerryT.Magyar

Let's support the women, children and families or poor and/or unemployed American citizens. Let's get them training and employment. Get's get them out of poverty, before we legalize tens of millions of residents that ignored the legal pathway and came here illegally.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

Having a vagina does not mean one can smugly violate a nation's immigration laws with impunity. Time to grow up and make something of yourselves in your home countries. 

wgberger
wgberger

A woman's issue? Mass immigration in general and illegal immigration in particular IS harmful to women - American women. It reduces their chances of getting and holding a job, it syphons money from the education of their children, and it lowers the wages of their husbands.

As to the use of the term "rights" being applied to illegal immigration, I suggest that those who broke are laws are least entitled to demand anything other than an assist in being repatriated.

firmsoil
firmsoil

This so called "women’s rights community" is a corrupt body that does not represent the majority of poor law abiding immigrants who are waiting in the immigration line patiently in their home countries for years and years to take their rightful place in america. 

These people are representatives of those who have cut the line to get ahead in life and have illegally stolen american bounties for years/decades while others have faithfully waited outside the borders.

DevanClark
DevanClark

@Romantic_Romeo I am very impressed by what I just read...I would like to know your opinion is on what you think amnesty would mean for African Americans and low income whites please?..Thank you

Romantic_Romeo
Romantic_Romeo

@BabuG.Ranganathan

BabuG.Ranganathan:

You're talking nonsense. I too am of Indian descent.

I guess you want amnesty because you want the USA to resemble the filthy squalor that third world countries like Mexico or India are?

You cannot expect the current generation of Americans to pay for the sins of our ancestors who took the land from Mexico, just as it wouldn't be fair to send YOU to jail, say for example, if your grandfather was a child molester. So don't make it sound as if we, the current generation owe anything to Mexico.

Do you not understand simple economics of Demand and Supply? and how increase in labor force will drive down wages?

Can't you figure out that yes, they pay taxes, but take out thrice as much, in benefits? If granting amnesty was such a good idea, then tell me why every developed country is not extending open arms to import uneducated non-English speaking folks? 

Are you too dense to realize Obama wants amnesty to create a new class of welfare dependent voters who will always vote Democrat?

Can't you figure out Big Business supports amnesty to get cheap labor? Getting people to sit in America and work for third world wages is even cheaper than outsourcing jobs to India.

IT's all about money, the bottomlime is MONEY.

Lastly, go get yourself a hobby, instead of wasting your time, typing such long feel-good nonsense type essays that are totally devoid of common sense. 

And by deliberately using your real name, you are more interested in trying to fool your friends into believeing you're a "kind, loving, compassionate" person. Don't worry, all your friends who read this, are smart enough to figure out you are nothing more than a traitor to AMerica, trying to pretend to be a saint. HYPOCRITE.



tom.litton
tom.litton

@TycheSD I'm curious what you think they get as a reward?  Citizenship?  That takes something like 10 years in the Senate bill.  That should place them behind those waiting for years to come here legally.  

jmac
jmac

@TycheSD  "These people are law breakers."   How about the people you put in power that want them here to do our low-wage jobs?  How about the Chamber of Commerce that says we need them?     Are they law breakers?  Are you a law breaker for voting for them?

You're worse than illegal immigrants.   They come here for jobs that are easily given to them.   You being played a fool makes you the worst offender because you're willing to look the other way when you go to the polls and vote.  You're a big part of the problem.  


opoljanka
opoljanka

@TycheSD You repeat something, what you  do not have any idea about. Most immigrants who came here "legally, came because they've already broke the rules

TycheSD
TycheSD

@TerryT.Magyar Terry, I don't know why more people aren't raising this point.  We have increasing poverty in THIS country!  We need to take care of Americans!

jmac
jmac

@firmsoil They have not "illegally stolen American bounties for years".    We hire them; they come.      WE are the problem.  We (mainly Republicans)  want cheap labor any way we can get it for big and small businesses - cheap disposable labor without any pesky rights or protections that might get in the way of profit.   We don't want to pay an America a decent wage to do the job.  

When you use slave labor it always comes back to bite you.      

TerryT.Magyar
TerryT.Magyar

@jmac @TycheSD 

You know illegal residents use false or stolen social security numbers, to gain employment ? Some come here legally with a visa. When the visa expires, they refuse to go home. The employer is not at fault. The illegal residents use fraud and deception to secure employment. If all else fails, they seek employment as a 1099 contract employee.

Sure a few employers knowingly hire illegal residents "off the books" and pay them under the table, but most illegal fraudulently deceive employers.

They do absolutely nothing to deserve a pathway to citizenship. .

NeilPatrick
NeilPatrick

@opoljanka

I think illegal immigrants should be given a fair shot at legalization provided they go through the rigorous process as everyone else and pay their penalties. However, your point about legal immigrants appears totally ignorant and disgusting. Do you have any proof to back up your claim that people who legally moved here did so only because they broke rules? If not, just shut up. You will do no good to the cause of illegal immigrants by casting aspersions on legal immigrants.

JmFay
JmFay

@Paul,nnto @TerryT.Magyar  Terry is correct as we too do alot of 1099 work.

We worked for one company Yellow Book who delivers phone books all over the USA.  WY does not allow any contract workers.  You have to be a temporary employee.  This is due to the welfare reform act signed by Clinton?  Yet Yellow Book got around this by signing one person who was legal but allowing others to work under their ssn.  This is not legal.  They had one group of people doing this and when the guy complained as he saw all the taxes taken out 3 weeks later as it takes longer to get cheques from WY work; they made it up to him.  They even did this for the new Thai wife of a co worker who was not given a green card when she arrived here straightaway yet she was working straightaway and taking away our ability to work / our work.

We live in CO and WY is only 1 hour away from us so we worked alot for Yellow BOok in WY.  CO has a law on the books that left out 1099 work so illegals here do that kind of work and avoid paying taxes; drikve down our wages and also take our work. 

E verify is to ensure not only one person per ssn; that the ssn belongs to that person; that the photo id belongs to that person and that ssn and that you have the right to work here.

TerryT.Magyar
TerryT.Magyar

@Paul,nnto @TerryT.Magyar 

I know what I'm talking about, I own my own business. Employers are mandated to complete I-9 forms, but the numbers are false. The SSN used by illegal residents are false or stolen. Employers are not required to verify the SSN, merely fill out the forms.

Some illegals have successfully used 123-45-6789, on I-9 forms. Usually they merely use a random number. Even if they happed to pick a real SSN, the courts have ruled they can't be charged with identity theft.

That's why federal contracts are forced to use E-Verify. It replaces the I-9 paper process and electronically verifies the SSN. Advocates for illegal residents hate E-Verify.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@TerryT.Magyar @Paul,nnto  You are clearly uninformed on the legal requirements of an employer. 

I, like Cesar Chavez, am against employers hiring undocumented workers. 

I, unlike you, am able to follow the money. 

TerryT.Magyar
TerryT.Magyar

@Paul,nnto @TerryT.Magyar,  Yes employers must complete their I-9 forms, but they don't verify the social security numbers. Illegals use false or stolen numbers. The numbers are never checked. False documents can be purchased easily for $300. 

Illegals that actually file taxes continue with more fraud. Their W2 has a false SSN, which they know shouldn't be used on their 10W40, so they acquire a ITIN (individual taxpayer identification no.)

So, if they file, they have the false or stolen no. on their W2 and an ITIN on their 10W40. The IRS processes their tax form and even grants the tax credits and refunds. The IRS knows these forms are from illegal residents, but refuses to report them to Homeland Security.

So, the fraud is NOT being committed by the employer.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@TerryT.Magyar  "Federal law requires you, as an employer, to verify an employee's eligibility to work in the United States. Within three days of hiring a new employee, you must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form, commonly referred to as an I-9 form. This requires examining acceptable forms of the employee’s documentation to confirm his or her citizenship or eligibility to work in the United States"

http://www.sba.gov/content/foreign-workers-immigration-and-employee-eligibility