Woman Immigrants: Changing the Face of Immigration to the United States


Last week, New American Media released a poll on the demographics of women immigrants to the United States, the barriers they face and their tenacious will to keep their families together.

Some of the major findings of the poll - Women Immigrants: Stewards of the 21st Century Family - include:

  • 82% of Latin American women found discrimination against immigrants to be a major problem for their family, compared to 17% for women from African or Arab countries, and only 13% for those from China.

While I can't say I'm entirely surprised by this, I do find this huge percentage a shock to the system. Given the current amount of Latino and immigrant bashing done by folks like Lou Dobbs and the now infamous Michael Savage, these numbers make sense. Regardless, this just proves how much work we have left to do in our fight against mis-information and hate speech. Ok, that was my rant, back to the poll's findings.

  • 40% of immigrant women from Latin America and significant percentages from other regions do not have health insurance. A clear majority of women immigrants without health insurance are unaware of public health programs that could help their children receive medical assistance.

Ahem, for all you people who believe that immigrants "abuse services", please see above.

  • When asked to name the biggest challenge they faced as women immigrants in the United States, the majority did not cite economic difficulties. Rather, "helping my children achieve success" and "being able to hold my family together" were the top answers—underscoring the importance of family in understanding the motivations and aspirations of this new wave of women immigrants.

In the same spirit as the above finding, I think that the quote below is absolutely extraordinary:

"At a time when more than one-third of families in the United States are single-parent households, 90 percent of women immigrants interviewed report that their families are intact", writes NAM Executive Director Sandy Close.