What’s the Real Problem? Working Conditions for Immigrant Women


This is part of the Latina Week of Action 2011 blog conversation debating the real problem concerning the scapegoating of immigrant women.

In our society, where our workforce so heavily relies on immigrant labor, it is ironic that immigrants are at the same time scapegoated and blamed for societies problems. What is exactly “the root problem”? We live in a society that exploits the low income and working classes. The exploitation of the most vulnerable that are unable to fight back. In this case, it is immigrant workers, in particular, undocumented workers. The recent anti-immigrant climate, coupled with increased deportations, has created a culture of fear in regards to reporting working conditions.

Working conditions for workers have long been known to be unhealthy and safe. Undocumented workers are particularly vulnerable because they fear retribution if they report violations. Employers can use a worker’s citizenship status to threaten them. Immigrant women’s reproductive health is often uniquely threatened by these working conditions, as pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture and manufacturing can have serious affects on her reproductive health.

NLIRH stands with all immigrant women as part of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights.

For more information about the rights of all workers, regardless of immigration status, Check out this pamphlet from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

By Heather Ramirez, Development and Communications Intern, NLIRH

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