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Julia Preston – New York Times – Monday, 24 June 2013 (originally published 20 Jun)

Saying the immigration overhaul bill now before the Senate would discriminate against future immigrants who are women, 13 female senators have introduced an amendment that would make it easier for foreign women to come to the United States under a new merit system in the legislation.

On Tuesday, dozens of women from local and national organizations waged a lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill. Pramila Jayapal, a leader of a coalition that organized the women’s campaign, said some of them visited senators who are leading the effort to pass the bill — including Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont — wearing colored fedoras that they tipped to show their support. Other women turned up with feather dusters in the offices of a dozen senators who earlier this month voted against allowing the Senate to debate the bill, to encourage those lawmakers to “clean up their act,” Ms. Jayapal said.

National groups that signed an open letter to women in the Senate urging them to vote for the overhaul include the National Organization for Women, the Y.W.C.A. of the U.S.A. and the National Council of Jewish Women. Women’s organizations were generally not engaged in 2006 and 2007, when comprehensive immigration bills were considered by Congress but failed to pass . . .

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