This message was sent to our Friends of CASA via email on March 8, 2021. Stay connected and up to date on the work CASA is doing to serve the immigrant community — join in here.
Happy International Women’s Day! Today is a day to celebrate women around the world, and in particular, immigrant women who have been affected by the pandemic.
Last week, we gathered at Union Station in DC for the Women Immigrants Rally for Relief. CASA members like Jeniffer and her mother, who we’ll share about later, were joined by partner organizations in the immigrants rights movement in demanding Congress pass COVID relief and a pathway to citizenship for immigrant women. Throughout the pandemic, immigrant women have risked their lives as essential workers while also shouldering unforeseen stress and issues in the home. If we are uplifting Women’s History Month, we must uplift women in the present who need government relief now!
“As a senior, I should be thinking about college and my future, I shouldn’t be worried if my mom can pay the rent or if I will have a place to live. On top of the worries with the pandemic, I have to worry if something could happen to my mom because of ICE” shared CASA member Jeniffer last week.
Jeniffer was born in the United States and raised by her mother who is undocumented. Her mother works cleaning houses and has been paying taxes for the last 20 years. Since the pandemic, her mother’s job has become unstable. Jeniffer’s family had savings, but they were not ready for a crisis as big as a global pandemic. Jeniffer, like so many others in mixed-status families asks Congress to pass immigration reform that includes essential workers.
Their family already has limited opportunities because of their immigration status. Jeniffer shared that one time she wanted to do an internship with a government agency but she ultimately chose not to apply for it. The application required a background check on family members and since her mother is undocumented she didn’t want to risk it. Jeniffer’s family and so many other American families are participating members of society but are so often forgotten from policy. As immigration and COVID relief bills move through Capitol Hill, domestic workers, child and elder care workers, and service industry professionals are counting on senators and representative to deliver for them.
Support immigrant women this #WomensHistoryMonth by calling on Congress to pass legislation that would include a path to citizenship. Immigrant women have risked their lives this past year in essential jobs — in and outside the home. They have worked in industries that have been historically underpaid and worse yet excluded from benefits, including UI and other critical emergency COVID relief offered to workers during this pandemic.
Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day and kick-off Women’s History Month by standing with women immigrants in female-dominated industries to demand what they’ve rightfully earned: COVID relief and citizenship status.