Friday, April 12, 2024

New America Media Releases Poll about Women Immigrants

On Tuesday, New America Media, the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations, held a press conference on Capitol Hill to release a poll detailing demographics, challenges and successes of women immigrants to the United States.

The poll, conducted by Bendixen & Associates, found that immigrant women face formidable barriers in their transition to the US. Many –Latin Americans (79%), Vietnamese (73%), Korean (70%), and Chinese (63%) admit to speaking little or no English. These women, who deal with language barriers, also must confront anti-immigrant discrimination, domestic violence, lack of healthcare and low-paying employment.  Yet despite these obstacles, 90% of Latin American women said they want to become citizens.

Some key findings of the poll include:

  • 82% of Latin American women found discrimination against immigrants to be a major problem for their family, compared to 17% for women from African or Arab countries, and only 13% for those from China.
  • 40% of immigrant women from Latin America and significant percentages from other region s do not have health insurance.
  • Many immigrant women describe their last job in their home country as “professional”, though many are now working in jobs such as a hotel maid, restaurant waitress, factory technicians, house cleaners and textile workers.
  • The biggest challenge that these women admitted was “helping my children achieve success” and “being able to hold my family together”.

Representative Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) addressed the crowd saying that the poll was representative of the challenges her family encountered during their transition to the US, “I found it striking that the data from this historic poll parallels my mother’s own experience in bringing me and my brothers to the United States from Japan in the mid 1950’s—her desire to keep the family together as head-of-household.”

Hirono went on to say that, “This survey shows a real need for key decision makers, on all levels of government and in the private sector, to support public policy that improves the quality of life for these women and their families.”

Panelist Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress, stated that her mother brought her to the United States with the vision for her to have a better future and a better education and “how her grandmother and mother are still learning how to speak English.”

The poll found that in the latter part of the 20th century, women immigrated to America in increasing numbers, assuming a matriarchal role. Sergio Bendixen, President of Bendixen & Associates, elaborated saying that in addition to cultural barriers, immigrant women take on new responsibilities when trying to keep their families together. “Immigrant women assume a new role; they have assumed the “male” responsibility.”

Bendixen added, “The study clearly indicates that women immigrants in the United States have not only become important contributors to the economic and social condition of their families in the United States but that they also have become catalysts in their assimilation to American culture and in the decision-making process about U.S. citizenship.”

For more information on the poll, visit: New America Media