Undocumented immigrant women are an immigrant group whose contributions to the economy, culture, and social life in the communities in which they live often go unrecognized. According to CMS estimates, there are 4,806,000 undocumented female immigrants living in the United States. Women and girls make up 46 percent of the total US undocumented population. The vast majority (45 percent) come from Mexico, followed by El Salvador (7 percent), India (6 percent), Guatemala (5 percent), Honduras (5 percent), China (4 percent), Venezuela (2 percent), Philippines (2 percent), Dominican Republic (2 percent), and Brazil (2 percent). Female undocumented immigrants from China, the Philippines, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic outnumber male undocumented immigrants from these countries (Table 1). However, among undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, the female population makes up a relatively small proportion (39 percent) of the total population.
Does something survive a hundred years by accident? In the cases of the Italian Welfare League, definitely not. The League’s papers, on deposit in the Center for Migration Studies archives, tells the story of generations of women who, while refashioning the League to meet the needs of their time, have also kept it in continuous operation for a century.
Nadra and Ghazel first came to North America as refugees. Today, they participate in their communities as mothers, teachers, learners, and leaders. Although much of the literature on refugee resettlement focuses on refugee-serving agencies, refugee women can have a profound impact on fellow refugees in their new home communities. Interviews from 2017 and 2019 with Nadra and Ghazel about their post-resettlement experiences reveal insight into both the nature and effects of moral agency under constraint. The constraints refugee women encounter in the United States operate like a downward-turning spiral; with each twist of the “spiral,” a new obstacle appears that makes overcoming subsequent obstacles all the more daunting. However, Nadra’s and Ghazel’s narratives indicate that acts of moral agency—characterized by hopeful risk, holistic care, and future-oriented imagination—can reverse the direction of the spiral by lowering barriers to integration and expanding opportunities for refugee women, their families, and their communities to thrive.
The Summer 2020 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition is thematically sorted into three sections. The first section has articles about migrant mobility, aspirations and life chances. The second section discusses racism, discrimination and social status. The third section is about migration, public opinion, and political participation. Lastly, this edition includes twelve book reviews which are free to access.
The Winter 2019 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition is sorted thematically into four sections. The first section is about enforcement and uncertainty facing immigrants. The second section has articles that examine family and social change, including an article on ethnic and generational differences in gender role attitudes among immigrant populations in Britain. The third section analyzes selectivity and immigration policy. The fourth section features two articles about gender and work, one about migrant domestic workers in Spain and one about itinerancy among Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers. Lastly, this edition has four new book reviews, which are free to access.