Immigration is always one of the most disputable issues in the US government policy. Many groups of people consider themselves hurt by this policy, and very few, including natives, feel secured because of harsh immigration policy of the American government. Feminists, including Gloria Steinem, state that immigration is a female issue, and women are the first who suffer from a tough immigration policy. Nevertheless, gender is not the main aspect of immigration issues, and acknowledging it as an exclusively female problem will not help to review immigration policy. Indeed, American immigration policy must be improved although its improvement should not be based on gender as soon as not all immigrants are women.
Steinem (6) claims that three-fourths of immigrants coming to the United States are women despite the stereotype maintained by mass-media that most immigrants are male. She also considers that immigrant and women issues are one and the same; however, because of the popular image of a criminal male immigrant, women’s problems are not understood by the government. However, not only male immigrants become criminals as well as not only female immigrants face problems while living illegally in the United States. Gendering immigration and making it purely a women’s problem would lead to complete disregard of male immigrants’ rights. At the same time, Steinem is not very accurate in her assumptions regarding immigration statistics. Although there are more women (55%) who cross the border (Migration Policy Institute), the number of female immigrants is not as prevailing as Steinem supposes. It means that immigration is not exclusively a female issue.
Women became more enthusiastic, ambitious, and aggressive in building their career and life as the whole. This makes them move to such countries as the United States; at the same time, men seek for the similar opportunities to live better and earn more money. Although women encounter more problems, male immigrants also do not live a carefree life. The only issue that Steinem is right about is the necessity to pay more attention to children’s problems. Actually, if the rights of illegal immigrants are neglected, then children’s rights are ignored at all.
Undoubtedly, immigration is a huge problem in the United States. The government cannot just eliminate the great source of labor force and intelligence; on the other hand, immigrants cannot stop moving to the country where they could live a better life. However, immigration is not a women’s issue as soon as men make almost the half of all immigrants. Additionally, even if the government acknowledges immigration as a female issue, it does not mean the immigration policy will become lighter and softer to women. One-sided view will not help to solve this problem.
- Migration Policy Institute. “Males per 100 Females Ratio Among Immigrants to U.S., 1870-2012.” MPI, 2012. Web. 9 Sep 2014.
- Steinem, Gloria. “Immigrants Are Us.” Summer News, 2014. Web. 9 Sep 2014.