September 26, 2016
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DREAM Act: What's At Stake For Women


WASHINGTON - This week, the Senate is set to vote on the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrant children who graduate from high school, demonstrate good moral character, and complete higher education or serve in the military. The DREAM Act passed the House on December 8th with a vote of 216-198.

Though the DREAM Act would undoubtedly have an impact on all immigrant children, the prospects for immigrant women and families are particularly substantial. An estimated 436,000 girls currently under the age of 18 would be eligible to benefit from the DREAM Act. Approximately 57,000 young women would be eligible for lawful permanent resident status as high school graduates with higher education.

Today, undocumented immigrant women in the United States are often relegated to hourly or low-paid work in fields such as child care, elder care, housekeeping, and farming. Working in the informal sector, many undocumented immigrant women have suffered exploitation by their employers, including sexual violence, sexual assault, and other gender-motivated crimes.

Realities like these make passing the DREAM Act even more crucial. With education and a path to legal residency, undocumented immigrant women can gain access to steady, well-paying, well-regulated employment. And women are more likely to invest their earnings and economic resources in their families and communities. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that “Women’s economic participation, and their ownership and control over productive assets, speed up development, helping to overcome poverty, reduce inequalities, and improve children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance.”

Passing the DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrant women and girls to reach their full potential, to provide for their families, and to invest in their communities and their country. The DREAM Act would make the American dream a reality for hundreds of thousands of hard-working immigrant children across the country. Tell the Senate to pass the DREAM Act today.


Legal Momentum is the nation's oldest legal defense and education fund dedicated to advancing the rights of all women and girls. Over the past 40 years, Legal Momentum has made historic contributions through litigation and public policy advocacy to advance economic and personal security for women. 

 

 


STORY TAGS: WOMEN, MINORITIES, DISCRIMINATION, DIVERSITY, FEMALE, UNDERREPRESENTED, EQUALITY, GENDER BIAS, EQUALITY, HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITIES, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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