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Immigration on Women: to go or not to go?

Immigration on Women: to go or not to go?

Immigration is basically transferring from one place to another. Before, as group of people were called tribes would tend to travel from one place to another. When resources are no longer sufficient on a certain area, they will travel and look for a place which is abundant of food and create shelter until such time that the resources is no longer enough to sustain them and so on. Even until now, we can still see this happening though they are no longer called as tribes. People in family would tend to leave their country and venture to other country to provide for the people who needed them in their country. As women are given the right to education and work for a living, they too are able to migrate to other countries to explore, and more often, to earn. Either to go or not is always the question among women. Men can easily go and search work with less worries unlike women who have different factors to consider; safety, security, fortune and others. Why? Because despite of the women independence we experience right now, we’re still different from men.

According to the US census Bureau, more than half of all immigrants in the United States are all women and are usually breadwinners of the family. Unfortunately, women immigrants despite having good education would often end up taking low-paying jobs such as in factories, agriculture and child care in order to provide needed income for their family. They would not complain on any abuse considering that they need the job and income for their family at home. There are about 4.1 Million undocumented women in US and the value increases continues. These women don’t have the access to have any affordable health care insurance and other reproductive health care. At this case, women immigrants are at higher risk of acquiring different health problems and would not be given immediate health care.

A study in the Southern Poverty Law Center proves that immigrant women do jobs that actually put food on the plate of America but faces harassments and other challenges in the work place. In Florida, New York, North Carolina, and California, women would work as farmers; planting and harvesting green beans, apples and other crops. They achieve a very low salary around $5.75 per hour or 45 cents for 32 pounds bucket fill of tomatoes. Considering the hard labor that they do, the government would eventually neglect these people, for they normally focus on benefiting their countrymen.

It would take too much time, money and effort if immigrants would have to access legal documents. Through this, they choose to risk being illegal as they fix their papers and earn money for it. These illegal immigrants are very prone to abuse. Some are raped by their supervisor, acquire low income and other abuse. Women can’t fight back due to lack of knowledge of their right, being isolated, lack of credibility and lack of legal status. Green card is often processed through employment or otherwise, marriage. Abusers would often take advantage of the situation and would threaten women to be deported or retrieve their citizenship. As for women married to abusive husband, women would never fight back for fear of being separated from her children by deportation for losing her citizenship.

What to do? Government has been working on providing path for legalization and tightening labor laws for agricultural producers. It was observed by the America Media Poll Researchers that despite the abuse and discrimination and language differences, almost all immigrant women reported increase in income. Women immigrants are said to be more industrious and work oriented which is good in labor. It was also analyzed that if undocumented workers were documented, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase by $1.5 Trillion after a year. Otherwise, deporting undocumented immigrants would cost around $200 Billion loss or worse around 2.6 Trillion after a decade. Looking at the study, women Immigrants both documented and not documented are very important to the economy and losing them would be a great loss. The government should provide proper rights to these people as well as provide cheaper and faster legalization procedure to ensure to ensure all immigrants are accounted by the government.

The Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA) offers women immigrants some protection. This act allows immigrants to petition for their residency on their own.  However, by May 2012, House of Republicans passed a reauthorization bill to weaken VAWA, saying it facilitates immigration fraud. There has now been a conflict as the White House threatened to veto the House’s version of VAWA reauthorization bill. VAWA had always been a bipartisan but for the first time, it’s now being used as a tool for anti-immigrant, anti-women agenda. VAWA has been supported by the National Organization For Women, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and National Association of Evangelicals. Despite many supporters, VAWA Immigration petitions are now handled by specialized unit under extensive training in domestic violence. House Bill would turn them over to the local immigration offices. According to Jeanne Smoot, director of Public Policy for Tahirih Justice Center, this process would serve immigrant women especially those who are under violence and abuse to wait for as long as 10 months for an interview. No one has ever figured out who or why this reauthorization has been billed. Women immigrant have been compromising their right to safety, security, health, family, and all essential factors for such a long time to serve the country they are working for. The process of legalization has been prolonged rather than hasten. It’s like degrading women right on immigration.

There are still some organization that helps and promotes women rights particularly immigrants. The ‘Lead to Inspire’ is a project run by the Arbour Charity in Tower Hamlets that gives training on leadership, Information Technology and Culture in United Kingdom. It provides six months training and at the end of which they are to organize a community event. They teach women of how to live, about the culture of the country they are in. this has enabled women to gain their confidence and enjoy the life even as an immigrant by knowing what to do in their daily lifestyles. Many women immigrants mostly from Bangladesh have testified the efficiency of the project.

Personally, it will often depends on the country you are wanting to migrate in. what can be a better solution is for the United Nations to provide laws to protect immigrants that goes from one country to another. Women are very sacrificial especially when their children or family and love ones are at stake. If you are to go and not to go, better know the facts; type of government, culture, women protection, nature of work, salary, and all essential information before you decide. Keep in mind that it’s always better to be under the [protection of the law. That is, you have to make sure that you are legally documented to be able to make the state protect you. If you are just a risk taker, don’t go. It’s still better to be at your own country were you are protected by its law being a naturally borne citizen. Be careful women, there’s a whole lot different world out there. So the question is, to migrate or not to?

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About Sheene Ville

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