LatinaLista — Tomorrow Rep. Luis Gutierrez plans to introduce his version of an immigration reform bill.
Whatever it contains, the bill will definitely entail a more humane way to treat the immigrants who have been contributing to our economy since their arrival. Yet, who are they?
Courtesy of the Migration Policy Institute, we get a much clearer picture of who one segment of the immigrants are — the women.
For anyone who thought they knew what this population looked like, the profile provides some surprising answers.
In 2008, there were 18.9 million immigrant women in the United States, comprising 12 percent of all women in the country.
- Aside from the fact that “nearly four out of five immigrant women in 2008 were of working age (18 to 64),” “immigrant women were less likely to be in the labor force than native-born women as of fall 2009.”
- Immigrant women were more likely than immigrant men to be US citizens.
- Foreign-born women who were full-time, year-round workers in 2008 made 14 percent less than their native-born counterparts.
- Immigrant women were more likely than immigrant men to live in poverty.
- More than half of new lawful permanent residents (LPRs) were women in 2008.
- In 2008, about 29,000 women arrived as refugees.
- Adult women made up about a third of unauthorized immigrants in 2008.
And perhaps the most surprising part of the profile:
Overall, immigrant women were older than their native-born counterparts.
The median age of foreign-born females (42 years) in 2008 was higher than that of native-born females (37). Immigrant women were also older than foreign-born males (39) and native-born males (34).
The foreign-born population, with a median age of 40 years, is older than the native-born population, with a median age of 35 years.
It’s curious that immigrant women ages 18-64 outnumber native-born women, or maybe not.
Maybe it serves as a testament to how the United States is still seen to the most vulnerable as a safe haven free from rape, abuse, mercy killings — and poverty.
With such promise, it’s no wonder that women, children and men make their way to this country legally or illegally.