9to5 | Media Release: Women Take Action for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
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Media Release: Women Take Action for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Media Release: Women Take Action for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Immediate Release: June 18, 2013
Contact: Susan Berryman Rodriguez (404) 222.0030 susan@9to5.org

9to5, We Belong Together and others advocate collectively for passage of common-sense immigration reform as central to women’s equality

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 — As the full Senate begins debate on historic immigration reform, 9to5 members are mobilizing with hundreds of women immigrants and community leaders from states across the country for “Women Stand Together” on Capitol Hill on June 18. America Carbajal and De Ana Jimenez from 9to5 Colorado,Katherine Bock of 9to5 San Jose in California, and Julie Nguyen of 9to5 Atlanta are in Washington D.C. advocating for immigration reform that addresses women’s priorities – a road map to citizenship that: recognizes women’s work, keeps families together, protects women on the job, ensures due process,and protects survivors of violence and trafficking.

Julie Nguyen, a 31-year-old grad student studying social work at Georgia State University, eventually became a naturalized U.S. citizen after her family migrated to this country from Vietnam in 1986. “The current immigration process discriminates against immigrant women making them more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. The fear of being deported and possibly separated from their family forces women to remain silent while they tolerate sweatshop working conditions and sexual harassment in the workplace,” says Nguyen. “As an organization which stands up for women in the workplace, 9to5 should be a part of the conversation regarding comprehensive immigration reform that fixes the injustices that working women immigrants are enduring.”

Part of collective nationwide action, 9to5 is lifting up the voices of women — immigrant and non-immigrant — to stand up for reforms that will fix our broken immigration system, protect women from abuse and reunite families. Any solution requires a rationale, common-sense and humane policy for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to be able to apply for legal permanent resident status and citizenship.

A new immigration system must include the voices and priorities of women because:

  • Women comprise 51 percent of people migrating to America.
  • Approximately 60 percent of undocumented women are in the labor force, the majority working in professions where employment is informal and difficult to verify.
  • The remaining 40 percent of undocumented women are at home caring for their families.

“Immigrant women and their families need a path to citizenship that recognizes their contributions to our communities and our economy, reunites families, ensures higher education access for immigrant students, protects the rights and dignity of workers, and integrates immigrants into all aspects of community life,” says Linda Meric, national executive director of 9to5. “We will all benefit from a common-sense immigration process that leads to safe communities, healthy children and a strong economy.”

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About 9to5: Winning justice for working women for 40 years, 9to5 leads the way to create a powerful force for change on issues affecting low-wage women and their families. Through hands-on leadership development, grassroots organizing and policy advocacy, 9to5 organizes women in campaigns for family-supporting jobs with living wages and paid sick days; and stronger protections against workplace discrimination. 9to5 is one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the U.S. To learn more or to get involved, visit 9to5.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About We Belong Together: We Belong Together is a national campaign anchored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The campaign engages women around the country in working toward common sense immigration reform that will treat women fairly and keep families united. www.WeBelongTogether.org