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We Belong Together: Courage and Contribution

By We Belong Together Campaign
September 12, 2013

Women from all walks of life demonstrate courage every day in their roles as mothers, workers, community leaders and more. Every day, women take risks to contribute to the well-being and success of their families and loved ones. They move so that their children can have a better life; they work so that their families will have food on the table; they take care of the young and the old; they open businesses and work hard to make a better life.

Women and children are the heart of the immigration debate. Three-quarters of all immigrants to the United States are women and children. 20 million immigrants are women, and of these as many as 5.6 million have been left out of a pathway to citizenship.

Our family immigration system has been the primary way that women can get legal entry to the United States and yet currently 4.5 million people wait in the backlog to be reunited with their families. 200,000 parents have been forced to leave a child behind because of unfair deportations. At the workplace, at home and in the community, women suffer intolerable violence and abuse.

And yet, while immigrant women disproportionately bear the burden of the failed system, they disproportionately contribute to our nation through their multiple roles keeping others’ families, their own families, and their communities strong. As women have done throughout the history of the country, immigrant women continue to contribute and to show tremendous courage. But their contributions and their courage are not being matched by lawmakers in Washington DC.

While the majority of Americans recognize that the time is now to fix our failed immigration system, the House of Representatives has yet to show courage of its own to act on the mandate to pass an inclusive and common sense immigration reform bill. Instead of getting to work, the House is blocking the ability of women to contribute fully, the possibility of a strong future for our children, and the hope of progress for our nation.

Women demand much more.

Today, September 12th, women from around the country will gather in Washington, DC to send the message is that the House must have the courage to right this wrong and unite to pass immigration reform that:

  • Includes a path to citizenship
  • Keeps families together and upholds the family immigration system
  • Provides protections for survivors of violence and against workplace abuses
  • Protects the health and well-being of women and children
  • Honors women’s work inside and out of the home
  • Is not driven by a focus on enforcement

It would be an act of cowardice for the House to either refuse to take action or to pass a bill that destroys families and prevents women from uniting houses around the country.

This gathering- undertaken by women from multiple states and races, speaking numerous languages, and with varied immigration status- will illustrate once again the courage of women who will take incredible risks for the sake of their families and their country.

Now, women call on Congress to have the courage, the heart and the determination to move forward inclusive and common-sense immigration reform. If women can work to better our country, it’s time for House members to do the same. It’s time for Congress to listen to women, and take action for fair immigration now.

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