Role Of Women in US Immigration

October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Women have contributed a significant percentage to the US immigration numbers. During 2010, they were the majority numbering up to 55 percent of the total getting a green card. Dividing it further, out of this 55 percentage, 60 percentage were married, while the other 40 comprised of singles, widows, or divorcees. Speaking about living in families, foreign nationals live in families at a greater rate when compared with native born Americans. New America Media conducted a research in 2009 and found out that immigrant women encourage naturalization in their families. When surveyed, 84 percent of the women wished to become US citizens. The survey also brought to light that only 13 percent of immigrant women work as professionals in the US. This is significant as 32 percent of them had previously worked in their home country. They are better is business as well as they outnumber the US-born women. In 2010, foreign national women were 40 percent of all immigrant business owners and are favored to own their own business more than US-born women.

Coming to the refugee category, women were 47 percent and slightly higher at 53 percent of people who were naturalized. What adds significance to these findings is that during the 1960s, immigrant men had outnumbered immigrant women. The Immigration and Nationality Act when passed in 1965, opened the doors and more women started to come to the US as the INA gave more preference to family-based admissions. As a result the number of women immigrants overtook the men in the 1970s. 2010 statistics put the ratio for immigrant men and women coming to the US at 96:100.

On the other hand, there is a significant increase in the number of deportations of undocumented immigrants. This leads to separation of children from their parents. The Applied Research Center conducted a research in 2011 and reported that more than 5,000 children live in foster care and their parents had been detained or deported from the US. This number will rise and the report further estimates that another 15,000 children will be in foster care in the next five years due to immigration enforcement.

Drawing down to the negative side, immigrant women are more prone to abuse at work and at home. Domestic Workers United conducted a study and found out that 33 percent of domestic workers in New York are subjected to some form of physical or verbal abuse. An important reason for this is either the person’s race or immigration status. Though one understands that domestic abuse affects both immigrant and US-born women, the former suffer from certain vulnerabilities. It is most often from abusive partners who take advantage of the woman’s immigration status to keep them from leaving an abusive marriage. In addition, they are also vulnerable to Human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice statistics indicate that around 50,000 people are trafficked into the US every year. Though 5000 “T” visas are available to help free immigrant women who are forced into other things, the hard truth is that very less visas are issued in this category. The year 2010 saw only 447 T Visas approved.

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