Diverse Coalition of Asian American, Civil Rights, Latino, Faith and Women’s Groups Endorse Bipartisan Legislation that Equalizes Immigration Opportunities for Women

By:  Sampan - Staff Writer
Source: Sampan

WASHINGTON, June 20–A diverse group of organizations, including Asian American, civil rights, Latino, faith and women’s groups endorsed the Hirono-Murray amendment to the Gang of Eight immigration bill, which would create new and fair opportunities for women immigrants and their families.

The bipartisan amendment is cosponsored by 12 senators–Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

“We applaud Sens. Hirono and Murray and the 10 women cosponsors for their leadership on this amendment. Today they stand united with the women immigrants everywhere, ensuring fairness and equality in our immigration system,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. “This bipartisan amendment is a testament to the economic value that immigrant women and their families contribute to our communities, by strengthening the middle class and our nation.”

With a shift away from the long-held tradition of family-based immigration, S.744 proposes a number of reforms that inadvertently favor men over women. Nearly 70 percent of immigrant women come to the U.S. through the family-based system. In many countries, the academic opportunities for women are far more limited than those in the U.S. Overall, high-wage industries, such as engineering and computer science, are overwhelmingly dominated by men.

“My colleagues and I understand that too many women in other countries don’t have the same educational or career advancement opportunities available to men,” said Sen. Hirono. “We should not cement those inequalities into our immigration laws. Our measure would help make the immigration bill fairer for women and give women across the globe more opportunities to compete for green cards in the new merit-based system.”

Under the Hirono-Murray amendment, a complementary third tier would be added to the bill’s merit-based green card system by providing 30,000 additional visas for immigrants in industries predominately held by women. These professions would include home health care workers, teachers, health services and other sectors that are currently experiencing a shortage of workers.