Report: Path to Legal Status Harder Now for Women Immigrants

Alissa Bohling – Truthout – June 18, 2013 (originally published 14 June)

Chicago, U.S. protest in support of human rights for undocumented immigrants
A Chicago protest of a 2006 bill criminalizing as felons all undocumented immigrants and those who assist or employ them drew about 300,000 people. Today immigration legislation continues to be one of the nation’s hottest topics, but despite its high profile, the authors of a May report say its impacts on women are often overlooked. (Photo: Araceli Arroyo / Flickr)

A report released late last month by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) found gender discrimination is built into U.S. immigration law.

Two experts working with the not-for-profit nonpartisan organization spent 10 years interviewing women from Mexico and Central America living in Phoenix, Arizona, about their experiences with the US immigration system and concluded that “immigration laws assume dependencies that privilege male applicants over females and that often make women an afterthought in the implementation of immigration laws.”

Published just ahead of the Senate debate that started Tuesday on the comprehensive immigration reform bill S744, the report documents the damage done by the sexism that its findings suggest runs rampant in the implementation of immigration laws regulating visas, family reunification, political asylum and support for undocumented victims of domestic violence. . .

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