It’s International Women’s Day and one of the most amazing women I know, Angela M. Kelley , is reminding us about the special contributions, insights, and strength of immigrant women. Angie is the Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress (CAP).
She and her colleague, Philip E. Wolgin, have just published a new piece entitled “10 Facts You Need to Know about Immigrant Women: They Contribute More than You Realize and Face Dangers You May Be Unaware Of.” It’s well worth a read.
They make some important points, like the fact that immigrants are more likely to live in families than native-born Americans. CAP links to a Pew Hispanic Center study which says that 45% of all undocumented immigrants live in families, compared with 34% of legal immigrants and 21% of native-born Americans.
And, immigrant women are the drivers behind citizenship attainment in their families. This is according to a poll by New America Media that CAP also highlights.
But there’s also some deeply troubling news. Some women (and men) are actually losing their parental rights because they are in deportation proceedings. CAP’s paper refers to a horrifying, must-read report from the Applied Research Center that finds that “more than 5,000 children living in foster care had parents who had been detained or deported from the United States” and estimates that “another 15,000 children will end up in foster care in the next five years because of immigration enforcement.”
As the CAP piece makes clear, immigrant women are the backbone of their families. I think that’s something we should be proud of, not punish.
Cross-posted at Moms Rising.