Women & Immigration
#ImHere: The Call
Keep your daughter safe – or keep your family together?
What call would you make?
"The Call" is the story of a mother’s impossible choice — and an urgent call to action for the human rights of immigrant women in the United States.
As we anticipate immigration reform
- Imagine dropping your child off at school everyday afraid that you won’t be back at pickup time.
- Imagine staying with a violent partner because calling the cops could tear you away from your kids.
- Imagine arranging for a neighbor to take care of your children in case your disappear, which could happen any time, any day.
Reality: this is not in Afghanistan or Mexico. This is here. This is the United States.
In January 2013, President Obama and leading Senators announced their plans for immigration reform, offering a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. --- more than half of whom are women. And in February, Congress passed a strong and inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with full protections for immigrant women, Native American women, and members of the LGBT community. Given this unprecedented momentum and opportunity, it's time to make sure that the realities and needs of all immigrants -- especially women and children -- are included in all aspects of immigration overhaul.
The face of immigration in the U.S. is increasingly female. Women now make up 51% of all immigrants, up from 38% in 2000. Immigrant women, lawfully present or otherwise, are job creators and community leaders. They enrich America’s economy and culture.
Yet the voices and unique struggles of immigrant women remain hidden from public narrative and absent from most policy discussion. More to the point, while the U.S. benefits from the women who move here, we deny them their human rights. While the human rights of all immigrants to the U.S. have declined over the past several years, cruel anti-immigrant laws, policies, and practices have had especially dramatic impact on immigrant women and their families. These measures force immigrant women to choose between the threat of an abusive husband and the threat of deportation if they call the police. They send pregnant women to give birth in shackles with federal agents by their side. They trap women and LGBTQ individuals in immigrant detention centers under the constant threat of physical and sexual abuse.
Many immigrant parents and children have also been separated by deportation or indefinite detention, often without due process. Especially in states such as Arizona and Alabama, where police may check the immigration status of anyone inviting “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented, women and families live in fear, rarely leaving home at all.
They have reason to fear: between July 2010 and September 2012, the U.S. deported more than 204,000 parents of U.S.-citizen children. Currently, there are at least 5,100 U.S. children living in foster care who are unable to reunite with their detained or deported parents. 1.4 million immigrants were deported between 2009 and 2012.
This is not the America we stand for. We are all entitled to dignity, equality, and justice -- and we must rebuild our immigration system with these human rights values at its core. Now is the time to work together to build an America in which everyone is safe in their homes, secure in their families, and limitless in their dreams.
With your help, #ImHere will make the human rights of immigrant women impossible to ignore.
As we count down to immigration reform, stand up to say #ImHere for immigrant women.
What you can do
1. Watch, share, and discuss the film #ImHere: The Call. What call would you make?
2. Add your photo to our photo wall, joining over 700 people – and celebrities! – from all over the world who say #ImHere for immigrant women.
3. Spread the word! Sample tweet/Facebook post: We need inclusive #immigration reform that protects immigrant women's rights. Watch "The Call-" http://ow.ly/hKLJD #ImHere @breakthrough
4. Join our campaign mailing list for more news and calls to action.
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