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Immigration Is A Feminist Issue

Publication Date: 
April 01, 2014
Source: 
The Huffington Post
Author: 
Terry O'Neill

Rock Center Fellow Vivek Wadhwa compares the rights on women in Saudi Arabia to those in the United States on H-1B visa's in this Huffington Post article by Terry O'Neill. 

Immigration is a feminist issue. That's why I'm adding my voice to the growing number of women who are telling House Republican leadership to wise up and stop blocking reform of our badly broken immigration system.

This week, I'll be participating in the 48-hour Women's Fast for Families on the National Mall.

...

According to the Seattle Times,

The United States actually welcomes more foreign women each year than men, but nearly 60 percent of the women were not working at the time they earned their residency -- many were homemakers who arrived through marriage or other family relationships.

That's the case for Bay Area immigrant wives such as accountant Anna Szar of San Francisco and computer engineer Mamtha Kashyap of Santa Clara, both of whom have university degrees but are banned from working in the United States because of the type of visas they hold...

It was clear from the start that her husband, not Kashyap, would get the H-1B.

That meant she had to come on a "dependent" visa for spouses, the H-4, which prohibits her from working. Kashyap said she spends her days volunteering at the library, learning how to cook new dishes and crocheting in front of the TV.

"I hate to say this, but the women in Saudi Arabia have more rights than the spouses, the wives of H-1B visa workers. It's inhuman the way we treat them," said Stanford Law School's Vivek Wadhwa, testifying earlier this year to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. "What country is this that brings high-skill immigrants in, but doesn't give them equal rights?"