Understanding the nature of a problem is a step closer to developing a clear understanding of its manifestation and therefore developing solution that seek its redress. Understanding immigration requires a systemic look at the problem which must involve looking at its past and recent manifestations. This chapter presents the background to women immigration in the US and also presents the significance of the study.
Development in human groups has taken on an approach where individuals form communities which develop into societies and nations. Societies and nations under this consideration are therefore collection of groups of people with shared values and who are governed by similar set of principles (Berger 33). This is the main factor that underlies the developments that have been made in human societies and the levels of development that man is said to have attained in the time he has inhabited earth. The movement of people is not a new phenomenon rather it is a phenomenon that has characterized the development in human societies. It is worth noting that development in trade; economic activities, healthcare systems, education and increased interaction between people of different classes have all played a role in the increase in the levels of interaction between communities that is central to the levels of immigrations recorded by the current societies. Irrespective of the nature of immigration, it leads to the encroachment of different cultures into existing societies (Berger 34). Illegal immigration in most cases lead to negative effects on established social amenities for they are placed on pressure they cannot effectively manage. California is considered the leading state in consideration of rate of sprawling which is further attributed to an influx of members of different nations into California (Berger 34). In the modern society, immigration can take on legal or illegal immigration. Immigration is defined as movement of people from one politically defined nation to another with the main aim of permanent residence. Legality or illegality of immigration is dependent on whether one’s immigration status has been recorded or not. Citizens of any sovereign nation have inalienable rights to access their nations while outsiders have to seek permission (Castañeda 95). Some chose to while others chose not to seek permission and in either case the result in an increase in the number of people that government has to consider in coming up with its development agenda. The emergence of nations defined by political boundaries has been central to an increase in mention of immigrations in a political context.
Early developments in immigration took on approaches that included long distance trade and inter community marriages. Development of better transport systems and travel has led to an increase in interaction between members of different communities. It is these developments that are central to modern day perception of immigration for they play a large part in a social phenomenon that leads to change of permanent residence of over 175 million people in a year (Castañeda 92). It is estimated that about 2% of the world’s population shifts nationality in a year (Castañeda 93). Such a number is significant considering the size of the world population and therefore immigration is fast becoming a key social and economic issue.
Earlier approaches to immigration mainly involved male members of communities. It is worth noting that unless it was a case of war male members in most communities were responsible for long distance trade and conquering new areas. Communities had a negative perception of the abilities of the girl child which played a large role in reducing women’s involvement in activities that may have led to immigration. Women were and are still considered by some communities as housekeepers and therefore have little chance to travel and interact with members of other communities. Slave trade that was prevalent in the 18th and 19th century played a critical role in immigration (Dasgupta 89). Slave trade as an agent to immigration also played a large role in developing disparities in the number of men and women that traded their nationalities. Education which is another critical factor that has been playing a role in immigration mainly favored male members in most societies. Women were in most cases discriminated against by the education system and were rarely involved in immigration resulting from education. The resultant is that more males than female were involved in legal immigration. On the other hand, factors that are critical to the emergence of refugees like wars were non discriminative and so was illegal immigration. The Middle East, South East Asia and West Indies record the highest levels of immigrations per the census carried out by the UN in 2005 (Dasgupta 92).
The US as a nation records the most number of immigrants. In fact the number of refugees that gain entry to the US is more than those that gain access to any other nation. Australia and New Zealand that have relatively open immigration policies are made up of populations where over one out of five people were born abroad (Singley and Landale 1437). Immigration in North America has played a considerable role in the compositions of the continent. North America especially the US is made up of a number of immigrant communities (Dasgupta 92). Reduction in cost of travel and an increase in accessibility of the US have played a critical role in development of immigration.
Immigration in the US is more than just a political issue rather it affects the economic and social strategies that the nation implements. In fact a US political candidate’s stand on issues relating to immigration plays a part in his popularity ratings. Mexico, China, India and Philippines have consistently been among the leading nations in pouring immigrants into the US. Many refugees pour into the US seeking political asylum, as refugees or seeking opportunities that the US is said to offer. The US is considered a melting pot of cultures where different cultures interact to come up with a culture that is definitive of the US. While immigration has taken a critical role in molding the US the effects it has on women is an aspect of immigrations that few have been bothered with (Sappenfield 2). Though legal approaches to immigrations favor males, developments in education and increase in the levels of illegal immigration have led to an increase in the number of immigrant women. The plight of the woman immigrant has remained unknown and just like in the slave era the plight of the male immigrants is covered more than their female counterparts. Rape of slave women by their masters has been mentioned by few books and the same disparity appears in the mention of the plight of immigrant women in the modern society (Singley and Landale 1439). A large number of refugees in dire conditions are women and children and they form a considerably proportion of immigrants. Degeneration of the society and immorality has formed a safe haven for all kind of atrocities women go through. While the US prides itself of a developed society where all citizens are of equal rights, immigrant women appear to live in a world where equality is non existent as many of them are discriminated against and are unable to meet their needs in a land that they thought was full of opportunities.
It is evident that immigration is a factor that affects the modern day united states. There are a number of positive and negative results arising from immigration in the present day America. The positive effects of immigration have for a long time been highlighted while its negative effect on women have been largely ignored. What is worrying is that the negative manifestation of immigration on women is largely visible in the society and there appears to be no interest by researchers and academics to look further into this issue. A nation where immigration contributes considerably to growth of population and where a considerable number of its population are immigrant will be doing itself an injustice by ignoring issues that affects any segment of the immigrants. Failure in understanding the issues that members of the society are faced with irrespective of their legal status or gender is a risk that nations should avoid at all costs. Failure in developing strategies that are relevant to the needs of the society can only be blamed on the society and therefore it is upon all members of the society to understand the problem and challenges faced and brought by female immigrants. Failure in appreciating the role played by the female immigrants in the society and developing relevant measures that may help mitigate the challenges or develop a clear path for research on what should be done leads to a society that is unappreciative of the fact that it has a problem. This research develops an understanding of the challenges faced by women immigrants in the US with the aim of highlighting their plight and possible causes for corrective measures and further research.
This chapter presents the research that is relevant to the topic of study. Understanding what has been done by the researchers is important to developing clear understanding of what is lacking, the manifestation of the problems and how it can be dealt with. Moreover, the research design used for this research heavily borrows from the literature review. This chapter presents the literature review.
Women and Immigration
Over the last couple of years that international migrations theories have becomes widely integrated into academic circles there has been little effort by academics and researcher to incorporate gender theories. Understanding gender is central to developing a clear understanding of the issues that affect migration because migration theories mainly seek to determine factors that determine who migrates, how often they migrate and means that they use in migrating (Drachman and Paulino 113). International migration theories have consistently failed to address the issues of gender and gender specific migration and are therefore half-baked with respect to developing a clear understanding of issues involved in immigration. Without the development of clear theoretical framework, the development of systems that seek to create a clear understanding of immigration is fundamentally flawed (Drachman and Paulino 112). Development of a clear understanding of factors that affect women and therefore determine their propensity to migration, seeking illegal approaches to entering nation or seeking refugee resettlement, helps cover up the failures of traditional theories. Immigration may appear to display gender neutrality but the reality on the ground are different in that genders affect the manifestation of immigration and its effects and therefore any strategy that seeks to address immigration and its negative manifestation should put into consideration its true nature.
Incorporations of gender into understanding what immigration is has not been the case due to a number of reasons. Development of an understanding of what migration is in its different manifestation which include temporary, legal, conflict induced and illegal require appreciation that all these types of immigrations do exist and contribute to what demographic experts refer to as immigration. The development of feminist view in US and Europe has played a critical role in developing more awareness on the role that women play in immigration (Stainback and Kanaiaupuni 455). This has also played a critical role in the development of awareness on the plight of women immigrants.
In the mid 20th century the term migrant families was mainly used in reference to male migrant with their wives and children. The immigration of women was given little emphasis mainly due to the presumed role that women played in the society. As at that time, most women in migrant families and even in the US were viewed as home makers whose central role was taking care of children. The situation however changed in the 1970s when more women were included in research which did not however include explanations of their migration and the hardships they went through (Renshon 31). With time the gender variable became more evident in nearly all research as more emphasis was placed on determining the role played by women in migration. The development did not address the fundamental issues to migration like how women migrated and how they were integrated into migrant societies. The approaches appeared to be an extension of neoclassical approaches that sought to explain differences in the roles of women end men without necessarily being concerned with the key issues that affect migrant women. Gendered responsibilities were thought to be influential of women’s decisions to migrate (Stainback and Kanaiaupuni 455). Earlier research were mainly based on the assumption that the decision to migrated was personal and women’s decision was mainly affected by their role as wives which was unlike the male’s which were centered on labor reasons.
Dealing with the gendered view and coming up with a more objective approach to analyzing the role of women in migration and challenges they go through is important if the society is to develop a clearer view of challenges that migrant families go through in the US. The development of a general theoretical framework that will act as a guideline to researchers who seek to explain experiences that are unique to males and women in immigration is important and would deal with the gendered approach to researching immigration (Lauderdale 1188). Women have for a long time been involved in immigration and it is shame that researchers have taken little interest on their plight (Ehrenreich and Hochschild 67). Understanding the role that gender play in the three stages in immigration is important to developing a more objective approach to analysis of the role played by gender in migration. The role played by gender in the pre-immigration stage, the transition phase and in shaping the experiences in communities they have immigrated into defines their immigration experience.
In the pre-immigration phase there are a number of factors that affect migration among women and in most cases the factors serve to complicate their migration. The factors can be categorized as both system and macro in that the states of a national economy and individual factors that may include gender specific issues both affect an individual’s propensity to migration. Moreover, it is possible to define the factors that affect the propensity of women to migrating into three categories which include: gender relations and hierarchies; status and structural characteristics of the country of origin (Marchevsky and Jeanne 93). Gendered relations affect migration in women because such factors affect the family that is central to the migration of women at all levels. It is the family that defines and assigns the roles of women and the bias that is gender inequality is a result of poor assignment. It is worth noting that the assignment affects women’s motivation and incentives that pull them into migration, their access to resources and support and sometimes even prevent their migration (Takeuchi and Zane 85). The interaction between the role, status and age of women is an important socioeconomic variable that serves to determine women’s ability to migrate. A UN report on migration argues that women roles and status affect their propensity to migrate and must be looked at from three dimensions; individual, family and societal (Lauderdale 1188). This assertion appears to be supported by trends in migrations in that age, ethnicity, marital status, role in the family, occupational skills, class standing, community norms and cultural values all affect who can migrate and with whom they migrate with (Lind and Brzuzy 65). The culture of the community and society of origin is deterministic of gender specific migration as they interact with gender relations and position of women in the society to determine women’s ability to autonomously decide to migrate and access resources that are relevant to their migration purposes. It is worth noting that the interaction also affects the opportunity that women have to migrate if a decision to migrate is made.
The macro characteristics of the country of origin which include the state of economy, types of economies within the society, the levels of displacement that would be caused by migration and economic changes; labor market conditions; infrastructure; the languages used with relation to the country one is seeking to migrate to; supply and demand forces in the receiving nation; state of infrastructure and social amenities and the absence or presence of pre-established migratory patterns are deterministic of one’s motivation to immigration. It is important to note that under this consideration crossing state boundaries is affected by a number of factors that are inclined on gender (Lauderdale 1188). In certain instances, men are more likely to make decision to migrate while in others it is the women. The difference comes in the opportunities presented to women by the society they live in and their ability to come up with resources required to immigrate.
National policies affect migration patterns in that expulsive, selective, permissive and prohibitive policies all affect an individual’s ability to get the required paperwork. National policies often are a representation of the implicit or explicit examples of the roles that men and women play in the society (Lauderdale 1188). Nations that seek to protect their women from what they perceive as exploitation through migration to other countries may develop gender biased policies that prohibit the movement of women orchestrated by search for better terms of labor or just labor. Immigrations laws of destination country affect who between males and women will find it easy to migrate (McDonald and Neily 17). The destination country’s policy influence the propensity of women to migrate in a number of ways: most nations develop immigrations policies which consider women just like children as having a dependent status while males are generally granted an independent status. Such classifications serve to complicate immigration for women as compared to males irrespective of their actual status in the society. Such definitions consider women in a more familial role than the impact they would cause in the market. In fact it is this approach to policy formulation that serves to increase the impact of social issues that migrant women are faced with (Foner and Fredrickson 35). In labor importing nations where work rights for males are different from females it is more likely that more females than males will be employed illegally. Traditional stereotyping and the perceived role of the woman in the society form a gendered view influenced the nature of jobs available to women in destination countries. Women immigrating for work related purposes generally find their manpower utilized in ‘women related’ jobs like nursing and domestic service (Stainback and Kanaiaupuni 457). Statistics show that nations that admit migrant workers on temporary basis use female migrant workers in low level domestic work.
International conventions may have an influence on who can be allowed to migrate. The UN convention defines who refugees are. Critics to the convention have attacked it from a dimension that it favors the recognition of males as refugees since forms of persecution against women in time of wars are rarely highlighted. Refugees in the modern society contribute a considerable portion to the overall migrations rate and an engendered definition of refugees is more than likely to affect the general trends in immigration.
Will and ability to migrate are factors that determine the means one will use. It is worth noting that both legal and illegal approaches to immigration amount to levels of immigration and should therefore be considered in the experiences that are result of migration. Experiences that migrant persons undergo after resettling in their receiving nations are quite different (Quezada 32). Integration into receiving communities or nations is primarily influenced by entry status, patterns of incorporation into the existing labor markets and societies and the effect that migrations has on women and men. Eligibility to social welfare programs, residence, an employment rights are all affected by entry status of an individual. Statistics show that related entitlements differ by gender; moreover, women have access to fewer programs compared to those that men can access. Migrant women are in most cases viewed by the state as dependant and this places their legal rights in the same state which may at times be precarious on their residence and migration status. This affects the opportunities and ability of migrant women to access entitlements and rights.
The definition of women at entry into receiving nation affect the entitlements they will have access to which include their ability to gain legal citizenship, training and access to income security programs (Toro-Morn and Alicea 83). Studies in migration patterns often infer these reasons in coming up with conclusions that women are in most cases denied citizenship which guarantee an individual of their social, civil and political responsibilities compared to males. Racial perception and gender based hierarchies that exist in receiving communities all affect the incorporation of women into existing systems and therefore determine the levels of performance they can attain. Women in most cases have different experiences from males for they are segregated into ‘female occupations’ such as domestic work and childcare. Highly experienced or qualified immigrant females have reported different experiences that find basis in gender. These gender based hierarchies are in most cases a handicap to women for they affect jobs they have access to, their working environment and wages they can be offered (Toro-Morn and Alicea 83). Immigration may alter gender relations between males and women in the receiving nation. Resistance to change and negotiation that characterize that change serve to develop a whole new perception of the role of gender. Studies show that there is considerable alteration of marital power not only in migrant couple but also in couples where one still lives in the country of origin.
The 1990s marked the development of a whole new trend to immigration in the US. Previously there had been more males that females seeking entry and actually entering the US. However, the 1990s marked a new reversal of the trend as more women than males have been immigrating into the US since. With these developments, there has been an increase in concern on the role that women play in immigration and how they are affected by immigration. Statistics further show that foreign born females make up to 5% of the total US population. Though there is a balance between foreign born males and females the sex ratio varies from one region to the other (McGuire 180). In general, foreign born females average an age that is slightly higher than natives. The median age for foreign born females is 39.3 years which is lower than 35.3 for the native women and 33.3 years for native males McGuire 180). In general, the foreign born populations average 38.1 years which is way higher than the natives which is 34.5 years McGuire 180). In fact the disparities are clearer in the age bracket of 25 to 64 years (Hondagneu-Sotelo 49). 68.1% of all foreign born female are of the age 24-65 years which is slightly higher than 50.2% of all native women who are in the same age bracket. Recent statistic shows that there are more foreign elderly women than foreign born males. 12.5% of foreign born females are over 65 years and only 9.5 % o of the male foreign population is within the same age bracket (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 220). It is however worth noting that the proportion of people over the age of 65 years is larger in native population as compared to foreign born population (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 220). 12% of the natives are over the age of 65 years as opposed to 11 % of the foreign born population (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 220). Statistics on educational attainment show that foreign born women are less likely to attain university level education compared to their male counterparts though a majority of foreign based women have high school diplomas (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 220). Over 66% of foreign born women over the age of 24 years have a high school diploma; this is slightly lower than their male counterparts who record 67.6% (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 403). The disparities appear to develop with increase in levels of educational attainment as 28.6% of men have a higher level education which is greater than 23.1% foreign born women who have attained levels of education higher than high school. 6.8 % of foreign born women have advanced degree as compared to 12.6 % of their male counterparts (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 404). It is worth noting that the native and foreign born population have equal propensity to gaining access to university level education while the foreign born are more likely to seek post graduate studies.
Foreign born women have a higher chance of gaining citizenship than their male counterparts. It is worth noting that slightly over 39.1% of foreign females are naturalized and only 35.8% of males (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 405). Labor considerations however show that men are readily absorbed into the labor markets than women. Foreign born women are less likely to be involved in the labor force as compared to their male counterparts. 53.7% of all foreign born women over the age of 16 years are in the labor force compared to 61.6% of native women (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 405). In fact of those in the active labor force 5.5% of foreign born women are jobless compared to 4.3 v% of native born women (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 220). Overall, the levels of engagement in the labor force between native and foreign born population are comparable.
Statistics on their engagement in family life and marriage show considerable disparities. Foreign born women are more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to be widowed, separated or divorced. The proportion of foreign born men and women that are married is comparable. However, differences come in the proportion of foreign born women who are widowed, divorced or separated. 19.4 % of foreign born women are divorced, separated or widowed compared to 9.1 % of foreign born men (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 221). Moreover, 20.3% of men compared to 29.3 % of foreign born women have never been married.
Full time foreign born workers make wages that are far less than those made by their native counterparts. It is estimated that the average wage for a year for foreign born female workers over the age of 16 years is $ 22106 which is lower than the natives within the same category (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 221). The native women earn $ 26640 pa., foreign born males 27143 and native born males 37419 (Velie, Ellen, Shaw and Malcoe 222). On average, the income for native born workers which is $ 32086 is way higher than the foreign born worker’s at $ 25458 pa (Walsh and Heppner 53). Family households headed by foreign born women display the same characteristics as individual earnings whether with or without a spouse. Foreign born women are at a greater risk of poverty. It is estimated that over 18.2 % of all female foreign born females live under the poverty line; this number is slightly lower than the propensity of their male counterparts which is 15.2% (Walsh and Heppner 53). Generally, 16.6 % of all foreign born live below the poverty line while only 11.8% of the natives live under such conditions (Walsh and Heppner 54). Approximately one third of all household headed by foreign based women live under the poverty line. 31% of such families live under the poverty line as compared to only 5 % of families headed by foreign based males with no spouses (Walsh and Heppner 54). The significance of such disparities is further stressed on by findings that approximately one out of every six households headed by a foreign born is headed by a woman. Approximately 16.3 % of all families headed by foreign born are headed by women with no spouse present (Walsh and Heppner 55). This value is nearly twice the proportion of those headed by male with no spouse present.
One of the main reasons as to why people seek refuge in foreign nations finds basis in their perception of the levels of security offered by such nations. Motivation to the achievement of migration goals is important for it is the key factor that drives a majority into seeking migration goals (Klatsky and Armstrong 1423). Security is one of the key issues that drive women into seeking refuge in the US. Most South Eastern Asia immigrants are in the US for the security and stability that the nation is said to offer (Klatsky and Armstrong 1425). However, ordeals that women have come to experience in the US are far much worse than the experiences they had in their places of origin which include bombing of their homes, murders, rape and violent maiming by pirates or soldiers. In the US, women sought for refuge from such violence, a look at the plight of immigrant women in the US creates a different picture from what they may have thought of in seeking permanent residence if US. Though the nature of the threats may have changed, its manifestations and pain that it causes has the same effect on individuals. Having successfully sought residence in the US whether through legal or illegal avenues, most women find themselves enslaved by their husbands and lovers (Klatsky and Armstrong 1423). Battering is an atrocity that few consider a form of abuse though its manifestation is just as worse as any other form of abuse. To make it worse, it is the people one expected to take care of them that propagate such atrocities and therefore the hurt from such runs deeper than just the physical pain for they affect an individual’s perceptions of relationship and psychological being. Though the levels of abuse against women have record tremendous increase in the recent past, the statistics are not reflective of the true situation on the ground. This is a common problem in research that involves human perception, stigma and issue that affect the basic fabrics that hold the society together; ethic and morality. Many cases of abuse are seldom reported and though many may be surprised by atrocities that man can direct to others the true picture is disastrous. Most foreign born women face the same challenges that American women faced before the feminist movements made it clear that males and females have the same rights and should be treated as equals. Just as American women hid scar in the mid 20th century, most immigrant women are under the same pressure and would rather suffer in pain than reveal their suffering to others (Wilkinson and Strom 1044). Immigrant women may be living in the 21st century America but the treatment they get from their partners is akin the mid and early 20th century approach to relationships (Wilkinson and Strom 1047).
Both the country of origin and destination are to blame for atrocities that women undergo in America. There is little that America can do to change the trends and cultural manifestation in countries of origin however there is a lot that can be done to ensure that the manifestation of the same in America is dealt with. Asian nations, Africa and even in some Latin nations domestic violence is not a crime rather is a family issue that must be concealed from the rest (Wilkinson and Strom 1046). This is value that has been ingrained into most immigrant women and like culture and perception changing it requires an approach that will develop a negative perception of abuse. Health and social workers in Asian, African and Hispanic neighborhoods have in numerous occasions reported cases where patients concealed the source of their injuries especially if they were inflicted by a family members or a close associate.
When on the receiving end of domestic violence, most battered women seek the intervention of shelter, courts and even the police department. In most cases they are turned away due to problems in communication due to lack of staff that can understand their lingual. Communication is central to passing information and if this is not possible with the authority that can be of help to battered women the resultant are individuals who are not willing to seek help and when they seek help the authorities are not able to address it (Zuniga and Hernández-León 61). This is a vicious cycle that propagates violence against women and should therefore be addressed. Statistics shows that two out of five refugees in victim assistance programs are victims of battery.
In some cases the battery goes overboard leading to death. It has been noted that there is a steady increase in the number of women who have been slain by their abusers. Men have led to the death of their women or in some cases murdered their immigrant wives or partners accusing them of social vices. Infidelity is one of the most common accusations that women are accused of prior to their assault or even murder. Most of those who are vulnerable to abuse have planned marriages for immigration purposes. Planned marriages with permanent US residents have proven to be recipe for disasters. Immigrant women who seek legal means to US through marriage with legal US citizens find themselves at the receiving end of abuse while they are stuck to their partners. The marriage fraud act 1986 required couples to have been married for over 24 months to avoid deportation (Zuniga and Hernández-León 63). Under the act was an environment where domineering husbands both immigrant and native abused their wives with the guarantee of not being revealed considering that most of the women would rather stay in the US under harsh conditions than be deported back to their home countries. The amendment of the law by congress that was mainly in response to the high levels of abuse associated with the earlier version could spell a whole new perception of marriages for immigration purposes. This could be a development in the right direction though there are other areas that still need to be addressed if the development are to take ground most importantly the culture that immigrants have developed from their home nations. The later version of the law that allows for newly wed that have been separated from their husbands to have access to green cards if they are battered is the next avenue to developing a better approach to dealing with the vice that is domestic abuse.
Domestic violence unlike tribalism and other social vices is unappreciative of cultural boundaries. A review of anthropological data that involved 90 societies regarding wife beating show that it is among some of the vices carried out across societies (Zuniga and Hernández-León 65). Most families and relationships are stuck to a women beating culture that developed while they were still in their countries of origin. The culture in most nations that seek immigration into US is where men are treated like kings by their wives and adjusting to the US culture where women and men have to work to sustain their families is not always as easy (Korenbrot and Dudley 241). Most men are required to compete for scarce blue collar jobs as their wives collect welfare checks that cater for their children learning the English language. This arrangement is not as easy and in most cases the husband is left frustrated and wages his anger and frustration on the children, wife and alcohol. The occupation and exposure of the immigrant to westernized or modernized life prior to their immigration also plays a part in their propensity to engage in domestic violence. Most violence appears to be in families where the husband or the entire family was in a remote setting before immigrating to the US (Korenbrot and Dudley 243). Fishing and farming communities are especially affected by the high levels of battery characteristic of immigrant communities. As much as Native American communities cannot be excused form wife battery, its manifestations in immigrant communities makes it one of the key threats that such communities and the US as a nation should be wary of.
Access to Healthcare
Between January 1990 and 2000 the US attracted almost one third of the world’s total number of immigrants (Korenbrot and Dudley 241). Moreover, within the same period an increase of over 57% was recorded in the number of foreign born individuals (Korenbrot and Dudley 243). This are documented results that reflect the known but indeterminate effect of illegal immigration. One of the factors cited to have played a critical role in the increase in the number of foreign born people in US population is undocumented migration that is peaking on a yearly basis. Records on undocumented immigration show that there has been an increase in the number of illegal immigrants; this is especially true for Mexicans who are the leading immigrant nationality in the US. It is approximate that as at 2004 nearly half of Mexicans living in the US were undocumented (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 403). Social and family characteristics may be the key factors that determine individual propensity to accessing healthcare among undocumented immigrant living in urban areas. Women have been estimated to be three times as likely to access healthcare. This may be due to their constant need for gynecological and obstetric care and since most immigrant families follow a trend where a male member comes into the US and he is soon followed by his family the number of males and women are likely to be comparable. The propensity to be joined by members of one’s family is largely dependent on how ready and how well one has established himself. Most undocumented immigrant has poor access to healthcare services. The situation is made worse for women who are in constant need for healthcare services. Improvements in access however develop with familiarity with the US healthcare systems. It is worth noting that access to healthcare services by undocumented immigrants is complicated by recent legislations that make it hard for undocumented persons to have access to publicly funded services.
This complicates access to healthcare services among women immigrants who in most cases are submissive and seek the guidance of their husbands or partner before making any move. Research further shows that socioeconomic considerations have an effect on how well immigrant patients respond to healthcare. There is a high correlation between incomes earned in a given period to individual’s propensity to recording healthcare insurance coverage. Insurance is also cited as one of the most important predictors to individuals seeking healthcare services (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 405). Another significant statistic is that immigrants that send remittance to their country of origin are less likely to report insurance coverage. Formal employees are more likely to access healthcare services than their informal counterparts. In general, research shows that undocumented immigrant resources especially their capacity to gain access to formal employment is likely to be a key determinant to their overall health status. It may not be surprising that most immigrants delay to seek medical attention due to their fear of being discovered by immigrations officials. Early intervention is one of the principles that healthcare institutions seek in ensuring proper provisions of medical services. Anxiety and fear displayed by both documented and undocumented female immigrants in seeking medical attention places them at a greater risk of negative manifestations of health problems. Discrimination both perceived and felt by natives affect individual propensity to seeking medical services and this is further complicated if the individual seeking medical services is poor. Moreover, it is evident that both documented and undocumented female immigrants are likely to seek medical service in emergency as compared to regular medical care.
Research further shows that there is a large burden of morbidity during labor and delivery among Latina women in California (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 404). Most of the complications in morbidities are results of largely preventable causes. Research has shown that women born in Mexico but living in the US were at a greater risk pregnancy related deaths than Mexican Americans. The main factors that have been cited as being deterministic of the trend include puerperal infections and post partum hemorrhage (Poulsen and Karuppaswamy 403). These are the same characteristic that most Hispanic women show great risk at. The overall outcome of Mexican born women could result in a healthy migrant effect. Women who leave their communities and success in crossing border are considered the sturdiest in their communities and the trend is thus worrying.
Housing and Social Services
The benefits that one gets out of the society and quality of life that women get in the US can largely be determined by the quality of social services they are offered. Individual and communal ability to gain access to social services is predictive of the quality of life they can attain. This chapter analyses the difficulties that women have in attaining proper housing and medical services with the aim of developing a clear understanding of the challenges that immigrant women face in the US.
There has been an increase of over 30% in the number of immigrants in the US over the last decade. A key area of concern in dealing with challenges that immigrant women face has always been provision of health services. Moreover, there relevance of the US medical system in providing high quality and cultural appropriate healthcare services has always been brought into question. It is worth noting that healthcare is a social system and should therefore address the needs of the different members of the society depending on their needs which in most cases are defined by their status (Zuniga and Hernández-León 82). The US healthcare system has been designed for the typical US native and lacks the mechanisms required to manage the problems that immigrant women face. Older immigrant women in the US are more likely to meet more complications in management of their health conditions than any other group. Experiences of immigrant women of the US healthcare system are way different from those of native women due to differences in their upbringing and the kind of illnesses they are likely to suffer from. In most cases the response of immigrant women to disease conditions and even medication is misinterpreted and they are at a greater risk of facing disparities and inequities in addressing health needs. It is worth noting that it does not come as a surprise that healthcare systems are unfair; this is a fact that is definitive of many social systems developed under the assumption of equal provision of social services to all. Research has shown that immigrant women tend to be healthier than the natives when they first come into the US: however, the US experience changes the status. The US experience tends to negatively affect the health status of immigrant women and in most cases their health suffers. Many are of the view that immigrants come into the US with high expectation and the US experience crashes their expectations. Though there are more opportunities in the US than their nations of origin, gaining access to these opportunities in the US is not always as easy. Immigrant women are especially disadvantaged with the high levels of competition that defines the US labor and business segments and most of them suffer psychologically.
Response to health services by native women appears to be largely affected by the nature of the healthcare service providers. Immigrant women appear to respond better if the healthcare service providers spoke their native language (Zuniga and Hernández-León 85). This can be explained by simple consideration on the nature of healthcare management; it is worth noting that health is a state that involves the physical, psychological and mental. Trust, hope and the ability to motivate a patient all play a role in ensuring that the health of a patient is well taken care of. Immigrant women are more likely to trust medical service providers that they can relate to than natives and this explains why they respond better if administered by workers they can relate to. Results from all over the globe show that there is a high correlation between match of language used by medical providers and the patient and efficiency in provision of medical services. Failure of the US healthcare system to provide services that are culturally competitive leads to female immigrants who are disappointed and feel that the healthcare system is inadequate in meeting their health needs. The US may have an advanced healthcare system but if a part of its population feels that it is irrelevant to their needs then its efficiency is highly reduced. Unmet expectations of the healthcare system affect the propensity of immigrant women to seeking medical attention and the benefits they accrue in seeking the input of the healthcare system in addressing their health needs. The lack of acknowledgment of the challenges that immigrant women are faced with implies that the strategies employed by the healthcare system does not accurately meet the health needs of immigrant women and further fails to recognize change in the needs of immigrant women as they age (Zuniga and Hernández-León 43). Understanding the factors that contribute to the high risks that immigrant women are placed on in consideration o healthcare management is important in developing strategies that are relevant to healthcare provision.
Women immigrants are treated unfairly by the healthcare system due to perceptions that have been developed of them. It is worth noting that communication of their health and poorly developed systems that guide immigrants in ensuring that they gain the most out of the healthcare system all contribute to the difficulties that immigrant women face in seeking their health needs. There have been cases where immigrant women have been dismissed as hysterical and the magnitude of their problems minimized thus findings from their assessment in most cases are not reflective of their true medical conditions. In addition to the issues that migrant have to deal with in seeking healthcare services, migrant women in the US rarely have access to health insurance. Most immigrant women do not have a health insurance cover due to their low levels of education, poor perception of insurance and requirements that they have been placed on in ensuring that the needs of their families are met. Insurance to most women immigrant is uncertain for most of them work under terms where they are provided with short or medium term benefits.
Healthcare service provision to immigrant women in the US is faced with clearly defined problems. The healthcare system has failed in developing a comprehensive framework to ensure proper service provision to immigrant women. It is worth noting that the healthcare system has been developed in a manner that makes it difficult for women immigrant to gain access to its services. Health covers, communication, resource and equal treatment are some of the areas that the healthcare system is lacking. Another area that the system lacks in is cultural congruency; developing a system that is not relevant to the medical needs of immigrant women is to blame for these. The US healthcare system has few systems that seek to ensure that the health needs of migrant women are met as they get older.
Housing is considered to be reflective of the living standards that one can afford. In most cases, the quality of life is reflected by the kind of housing afforded by an individual and this is the case for immigrant women (Berger 19). Research shows that women’s access to decent housing is affected by eligibility criteria to public housing, housing standards and challenges that migrants face in ensuring proper housing.
Development of the public housing project was mainly in response to an increase in the need for safe housing that is affordable to individuals and families of low income. Public housing projects take on different approaches but the objective in their development has remained largely unchanged. However, meeting this objective has severely been hampered by a lack of houses. There is a severe shortage of subsidized houses which bars both natives and immigrants from accessing housing. To qualify for public housing one’s immigration status must be clearly defined. In fact, seeking housing for immigrants is complicated by the fact minority groups that meet some predefined criteria can be considered for housing living out a majority of the immigrants. It is worth noting that the government in strategies that it has developed to deal with illegal immigration has barred nearly ten million illegal immigrants in the US which amounts to barring the poorest from getting any assistance from the federal government (Berger 11). Access to subsidized housing is complicated by prohibitions and barriers that results from procedures that have to be followed to gain access to subsidized housing. Natives generally find it easy to go through the procedures than the immigrant and considering that the houses are in high demand their chance of getting such houses is highly reduced. Despite the civil rights act of 1968 prohibiting discrimination in housing, immigrant women continue facing institutionalized discrimination (Dasgupta 92). Women immigrants have to put up with sexual harassment from employees in the tourism industry especially in quid pro quo, occupancy and terms of tenancy (Dasgupta 92).
A typical immigrant household is far larger than the natives’. A typical Latina immigrant family is made up of hordes of relatives and a large number of siblings. Municipalities have been known to develop bylaws that discriminate or restrict the number of people within square feet of housing (Berger 13). Such laws are normally developed under a platform of ensuring health needs are properly addressed. Such enforcements affect women who have limited resource and immigrant families that are averagely larger than native families. Though the number of migrants is on the increase, the government appears to be developing stringent housing laws that make it harder for immigrants irrespective of their legal status to gain access to subsidized housing (Berger 13). The formulation and implementation of policies relating to housing is at the center of the challenges that immigrant women face in seeking proper housing. Institutionalized discrimination in the housing sector makes it hard for female immigrants to gain access to proper housing and when they do most women have to deal with harassment from housing stakeholders.
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
It is of critical importance that the research design of choice be developed in consideration of the nature of the research which is defined by research objectives and the research design. Analysis as presented in this chapter has been develop in considerations of the research objectives and its design
It is evident that the role played by gender in disparities that affect opportunities that males and females have in the society are far reaching than many demographic experts are willing to accept. Man in his history has been involved in all forms of atrocities against children, the disabled and notably women. Women have over the centuries been considered minor to men who were central to propagation of the belief that women are inferior being who have to be under men. However, developments in the society have led to shifts in perception and development of feminist movement that sought to push for the rights of women and develop equal perceptions of women played a critical role in the modern American perception of the abilities of a woman.
Immigration like all human activities has been largely affected by the engendered view of abilities of different members of the society. The fact that the role of gender in immigration was ignored by many researchers in the past led to a society that is oblivious of the role played by gender in the observable differences between male and female immigrants. The literature clearly shows that women appear to be at a more disadvantaged position as compared to male immigrant in all spheres of their social life. Understanding the manifestation of migration and the effects that it has on women requires analysis from the decision to migrate through to the life of women in the US.
Latin America constitute considerably to the number of immigrants in the US. Mexico alone contributes to nearly half of the totals number of immigrants. The same nation also records the highest rate of illegal immigration into the US. It is worth noting that illegal immigrations into a nation like the US may not appear a key issue for it has been happening for sometime irrespective of its negative manifestations; however understanding the factors that push women into illegal migrations is important to developing a clear understanding of challenges they are faced with.
Consider Mexico, its society is basically a collection of male chauvinists who develop systems that are largely biased and aid social reproduction. The Asian or even African nations are not any different for the male child is considered a better gift from the creators than the female (LaFranchi 1). The belief has over the centuries been ingrained into human perception that few have the ability to change it. It is worth noting that human perception plays a critical role in development of culture which in turn affects perception. Living and growing up in such societies develop females who are engendered and have the same view that define their brothers, uncles and fathers. It is impossible for a girl sibling to move to America if he has brothers who seek the same. Though both may be presented by the same opportunity, males are at a better position to harness the opportunity to come into the US. The perceived picture of America being the land of opportunities developed in nearly all third world nations may be central to the engendered approach to immigration and opportunities that women have to immigrate. Most women turn to illegal approaches to immigration so as to attain their American dream and that is where the exploitation begins. In most cases, women are not even aware that they are being exhorted for they are unaware of the dynamics that define immigration from an American perspective. Legal immigration like drug trade and organized prostitution is an area left for cartels. In most cases, illegal immigration, drug trade and prostitution go together. The cartels that control drug flow into and out of America are the same that control the flow of arms and play a large part in people smuggling. An increase in the number of immigrants of Mexican and Asian origin in the US is mainly due to illegal immigration. The cartel that manage such movement handle people like goods or merchandise that is to be transported from one point to the other. Some who cannot afford to pay the high exorbitant fees are often forced to work off their charges. Such people are constantly monitored by cartels and they live from when they enter the US in what can be best described as hell. Organized prostitution and payment of levies to criminal organizations through whatever means is what is required of the workers (LaFranchi 1). It is worth noting that this is a manifestation of lack of resources and a proper justice framework to deal with illegal immigration. Rarely do immigrants enter the US through illegal means and gain the success they sought. The land of opportunities quickly turns into a land of nightmares with entry via the backdoor.
There is no denying that the number of American males that enter the US though illegal means is just as large as the number of females. This can be attributed to the levels of poverty and working conditions that is definitive of Mexico as compared to its alluring and successful neighbor; the US. It is this lure for success that affect individual propensity in seeking success in the US. A successful nation close to a poor nation creates a difference that pushes workers from the developing to the successful nation. Unless the working and living conditions in other nations improve immigration will continue in an upward trend irrespective of its legal nature. There are little structural reforms that can be done to curb illegal immigration due to the levels of organization displayed and the fact that the illegal immigrants serve to fill areas that would be left unaddressed by native Americans.
The approaches used by women to gain to the US have a bearing on the hardship that they undergo. Understanding and developing a clear picture of the relationship between the perception development in the nations of origin, the approach used in immigration and abilities and opportunities that will be presented to women in the US aid the development of a clear picture of immigration. A critical analysis of challenges that immigrant women face and their manifestation leads to the conclusion that the problems are a manifestation of far much greater problems that are without the borders of the US.
Women and Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is considered one of the oldest vice against women. While there are men who can claim to have been abused by their wives the proportion of abuse against women is far much higher than the abuse against men. Domestic abuse is one o the most common form of abuse and the fact that it is the least reported only serve to complicate its management. It is worth noting that abuse at the family level is resultant of many factors and in most cases the causative factors are ingrained in the perception of members of the family. Human perception is resultant of a number of factors that affect the schema one develops and therefore his cognition of events and ideas. The schema developed is determined by individual ability, levels of education one has attained, the environment one grew up in and the effects of cultural beliefs and attitudes (LaFranchi 1). It is a fact that people from the same community or society tend to have a common perceptions of events though there may be deviations caused by experience or just personal perception. One can move out of Hong Kong, Mexico City, Lagos to New York, Miami or Los Angeles this marks just the change in environment and does not in any way affect their perception of events and human behavior. Wife beating is considered a relationship management approach in some societies and this perception is not likely to be changed by entry into the US. Moreover, women who have grown up in such societies have been brainwashed into believing that their role in the family is to submit to their husbands. Women with such perception of marriage can only hope that their actions please their husbands. In most cases the beating that come the way of wives are not as a result of their actions; life in the first world nation is stressful and as much as the US may appear heaven on earth to immigrants before landing in the US the dream is only realizable if one is provided with the right resources and expertise to harness the opportunities that exist in the US.
The cost of living in any developed nation is far much higher than in the developing nation and moss people in the US have to work multiple jobs to meet their needs. Working to get by is the reality of life that defines US and most immigrants find themselves in a position where they have to adopt. Failure in adopting and the stress that is resultant in mostly the male members who have been brought up with the perception that they should be providers to their families is central to propagation of abuse. The manifestation of domestic abuse in most nations of origin takes on an approach where the woman is a tool used by the man to release his stress. With the stress associated with life in the US most women get themselves at the receiving end of their husbands stress and get beaten in a manner that they have never been. In fact it is possible that the levels of abuse are far much higher in the US for this reason than it is in the nation of origin. The situation is made worse if the woman or her husband is an illegal immigrant in that seeking intervention whether medical or legal would require paperwork. Illegal immigrants avoid any activities that may lead to their interaction with authorities and therefore suffering in pain would be the only option.
Women’s perception of domestic abuse plays an important role in propagating abuse. Women who are averagely poor than their husband have limited options to seek labor thus livelihood and are generally dependent on their husbands. Their perceived dependence and actual dependence on their husband enslaves them to a society that is full of abuse. It is also worth noting that illegal immigrants tend to stay within communities that are filled with members of their race. This is natural animal response to hiding which is quite similar to camouflaging in animals. Under such predominantly migrant communities, vices that are reflective of their home country thrive and so does domestic abuse. Some women have even been brainwashed into believing that if their men do not lay a hand on then they are not men enough or do not love them. Such brainwashed individuals are less likely to report cases of abuse (LaFranchi 1).
The interventions that have been developed to deal with domestic violence against immigrant women are best described as a joke. Though the US government is appreciative of the fact that there are many undocumented immigrants in US, in seeking to develop tougher immigration laws it has assumed the plight of the undocumented immigrants. Making it hard for the undocumented men and women to gain access to publicly funded service does not address their problems and does not at help in dealing with the challenge of illegal immigration. Such strategies only serve to add to the suffering that the battered women go through. Asylum seekers and refugees would rather stay in the US on an illegal status rather than seek medical or legal intervention while risking deportation. The failure of most intervention programs to seek the aid of immigrants who can translate the atrocities that the women face in their marriages to experts also shows that some of the intervention programs are not serious about addressing the plight of battered women immigrants. Objectivity is lacking in the development of programs that seek to address the domestic challenges and pain that immigrant women have to deal with. Developing programs that do not put into consideration an obvious fact that there is likely to be language barrier in communication between immigrant societies and the natives put the objectivity of the programs into question (LaFranchi 1). Most social programs are developed under the theoretical objectives that they will ensure service delivery to all irrespective of their social status. This is not always the case for in most cases the strategies that such programs employ are largely biased and do not put into consideration the differences that exist in different segments of the society (LaFranchi 1). Like social systems that have been accused of being tools for social reproduction, social programs do not in any way reflect the seriousness and objectivity required in addressing the social challenges faced by female immigrants.
Women Immigrant and Healthcare
Any normal hospital setting should be reflective of the relationship between male and females in seeking medical care. Most males are rather forced by either disease conditions or their associates to seek medical care while women are general more conscious of their health and seek intervention at the earliest opportune moment. These are the differences that define men from women and act to define the differences in healthcare provisions that men and women get. Undocumented immigrant women worry a great deal about access to medical services. It is worth noting that apart from the established mainstream medical services where undocumented women risk deportation in seeking medical care there are underground systems of getting medical attention used by undocumented immigrants.
Understanding and being integrated in the system that is normally expensive and the practice nothing to write home on require high levels of coordination. This could be one of the reasons as to why immigrants prefer to stay close to members of their own race or nationality. Healthcare in the US just like in many other nations is a social institution that seeks to ensure health needs of individuals are met more accurately. Healthcare is therefore developed under the ethical and moral consideration that holds the society together. It is not surprising that issues surrounding ethics and morality find mention in healthcare systems since they are both part of what makes up the society. It is worth noting that the strategies that nation employ in developing their healthcare institution are so much inclined on ethics and in most cases equality in medical provision is one of the key factors.
The US in developing approaches to medical provision where immigrant are discriminated against is acting against the social code of ethics. As much as the undocumented immigrants place considerable pressure on social resources these are still a part of what makes up the American society. Healthcare systems are considered social and not federal resources and therefore both the natives and the immigrants irrespective of their legal status must have access to healthcare services. The US approach to provision of healthcare services is quite different from what many expect of a social institution. Illegal immigrants are treated worse than convicted felons in relation to gaining access to medical care. Illegal immigrants under the recent tougher rules have few avenues to meet their health needs. Women who are generally in more need of healthcare services are badly affected by the developments (Dasgupta 92). Moreover, the high levels of organization that define the America healthcare institution characterized by social welfare programs and Medicare programs require steady jobs. It is hard to get good medical attention without membership of Medicare or other related programs. Most immigrant women on the other hand engage in jobs like housekeeping that are neither steady nor capable of providing for the migrant families and still keep up with the high subscriptions that define such programs. Moreover, all citizens are legally required to enroll into Medicare and any sane mother placed in a position where she has to choose between health insurance and putting food on the table for her family her loyalties are bound to be on provision of food.
The level of educational attainment of immigrant women compared to males could be a reflection of the perception that education is made for males. The fact that the disparities in levels of educational attainment appear to grow with the level could be a reflection of the perception of the immigrant communities on education which could have been developed from their communities (Dasgupta 92). Considering that women generally have a lower income than the males effectively imply that they have little access to opportunities for betterment. Consideration on the number of single women who head their households creates a grim picture of the hardship that immigrant women go through. Despite making little compared to male immigrants, women are at a greater risk of being divorced and heading single families where all responsibilities of the family lie in their hands.
The housing system in the US is commercialized and therefore tightly intertwined with legal issues and resource ability. Illegal immigrants cannot access mortgages and have few opportunities to access good housing. Most immigrant women workers work in low paying jobs and have few chances for employment compared to the natives. Baby sitting and housekeeping jobs in the current security conscious US require legal documents; moreover, the returns associated with such occupations are not enough for one to get a decent house.
The US labor market is filled with highly qualified individuals thanks to its good education system. Immigrant women find it hard to get into the education system. Basic education for all is a legal requirement in the US and this may the reason as to why the rates of high school graduation between natives and the immigrants and across genders appear similar. After this basic level, immigrant women drop considerably and this could either be a reflection of their lack of resources to gain the rather expensive high level education, their lack of motivation to achieve educational goals, early marriages and even biased perceptions of the society and communities that they live in on woman education. It is thus evident that immigrant women are disadvantaged in the formal more lucrative sectors and have to trade their services in the less paying informal sector. Predominant engagement in the informal sector plays a critical role in determining their resource ability and therefore how well they can deal with challenges presented by life.
The US as a nation takes in more refugees than any other nation. Refugees just like asylum seeker are in the US for their own safety and to seek a better life that is free of instability. Refugees have to be catered for and considering the condition most of them are in they place considerable pressure on social resources. Refugees serve to complicate the immigration problem that women are faced with. Seeking the paperwork required to be US nationals is not always easy especially for women who reign from societies where male members are responsible for all events that require interaction with the administration or other communities. The interaction skills of such refugees are under developed and this places them in a difficult position with regards to interaction with others in the multicultural US society.
The following are some of the key findings:
l Immigration has numerous negative impacts on women in the US. Resource ability, access to social amenities, level of educational attainment, the kind of jobs one has access to and how women are treated in their marital or intimate relationship are all negatively affected by immigration and one’s immigration status.
l A number of factors are determinant of the experiences that women go through. Resource ability, culture, established systems both in the country of origin and in the US, existing labor patterns in the US and the existing legislations all affect how a woman will be treated in the US. It is important to note that the negative treatment and experiences that migrant women go through in the US is resultant of a combination of the said factors.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Developing a clear understanding of issues is important to understanding its manifestation and therefore the development of measures that will address it. Immigration both legal and illegal has been at the center of many discussions regarding social development. It is important that the strategies developed to deal with social issues be based on a clear understanding of the issues and their manifestation at all levels. Over the years women have been neglected and issues affecting them were just dealt with within the confines of a home. However, developments in the society have seen the emergence of the working woman and increasing pressure to ensure women are treated in a manner that they deserve. Though there have been considerable developments in alleviating the pains and struggle that women go through, there is little that has been done to articulate and even deal with the pain that immigrant women in the US go through.
The challenges that immigrant women are faced with manifest themselves way before the immigrants land into the US. Most of the problems are developed from the culture they had developed in their place of origin. The manifestation of cultures that are exploitative and discriminative against women in the US is thus a result of perception of women developed in Latin America, Africa and even Asia. Ensuring proper integration and the development of systems that seek to deal with the negative perception of women among migrant societies would go along way in dealing with the challenges. Another factor that contributes significantly to the challenges that immigrant women are faced with is the manner in which the social institutions and programs are implemented in the US. Illegal immigration which contributes considerable to the number of immigrants in the US places one in a peculiar situation where they have limited access to social resources and services. Moreover, the immigration laws and policies have perpetuated illegal immigration which has had a considerable negative effect on women. The resultant has been a society where immigration is constantly being discussed and how illegal immigration like drug trade and terrorism can be curbed is central to debates and forums while women suffer due to existing policies. It is worth noting that most are pulled into the US due to what they perceive as a better life in the US and as long as this perception persists there is little that can be done to curb illegal immigration.
Challenges faced by women have for a long time been gender based and in most cases it is the culture and other established social institutions that serve as tools used to carry out the injustices. Change of perception of the US may require the development of better economic conditions in countries of origin. Uniform global development is important in addressing factors that push and pull women into the US. Meanwhile, the US must accept the fact that it offers an environment that is alluring to many nationalities and therefore immigration both legal and illegal will continue on a high. Developing stringent immigration laws only serve to increase the challenges that women go through since most of them will seek illegal approaches and should therefore not be the case. The research findings are in line with the belief that cultural perception affects one cognition and therefore abilities. Most women are disabled due to the beliefs that they carry on from their origin and as complicated as it may appear dealing with the challenges that immigrant women face in the US may also require intervention in the source nations.
There is need for research into cultures of countries of origin to develop a clear understanding of how they propagate violence against women. It is however worth noting that the immigration laws and some of the policies that hinder the illegal immigrants from accessing social services only serve to complicate the problems that migrant women are faced. Structural and legal reforms are required in the current systems if any developments are to be made with regards to proper treatment of migrant women. It is evident that structures that have been developed to safe guard the welfare of the society notably the legal system, healthcare and education do a lot of injustice to both documented and undocumented women immigrant. The amendment of the marriages law is a positive and should be followed by more changes that would ensure the immigrant women are not maltreated as they currently are.