From my upcoming book "One Foot In"
Today I would like to share with you some quotes from my upcoming book with the same title of the documentary: "One Foot." It's the result of interviews to immigrant women, experts' opinions and data coming from different sources that will be mentioned in the book. If you want to know more about the challenges immigrant women face in the U.S. read the quotes: "This is the first thing to keep in mind when you think about the immigration laws for partners in the U.S. The laws are certainly valid for men and women but the latter pays a higher price. The majority of partners that can’t work in the U.S. are female."
"If you consider that it’s already hard for a woman to get heard in the tech industry, you can imagine how much harder it can be for an expat woman to find her path in city like San Francisco and generally speaking in a country where the majority of the Visas for special skills go to the tech industry."
"Analyzing the different phases of immigration, we find that a large number of women migrated to the United States as a result of the 1965 Immigration Act that allowed the reunification of families."
"While the new laws created after September 11th, 2001, are not focused on immigrant women, some of them deeply affected them. The fear of deportation might dissuade battered immigrant women from reporting abuse."
"Despite their hard work and educational achievements, immigrant women earn less than foreign-born men, and less than native-born men or women."
"Data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that female immigrants are more likely than male immigrants to come to the United States through the family-based class of admissions, rather than through employment."
"Immigrant women in the labor force had an annual median income of $32,015 in 2012, compared to $38,514 for native-born women, $36,802 for foreign-born men, and $50,283 for native-born men."
"Living in the U.S. I discovered that, many of the people you meet have an immigration story, but they hardly talk about it. When you tell your personal story, though, they open themselves. It’s like opening the door to a hidden garden where the moss covered all the walls and stones."
"The truth is that you can’t really feel you belong to the U.S. until you get the American passport. Before that moment, there is always something that reminds you of your temporary status."
"She was devastated because she knew she was a good fit for the position, but unfortunately, not all the job openings are eligible for an H1B sponsor. The H1B is usually used for positions that require very specific skills and especially for the STEM field."
"Companies usually decide to sponsor the Green Card after a couple of years plus the process takes a long time. By the time these dependent women receive it, it’s clearly difficult to go back to the job market."
"She doesn’t like to depend on her husband. All the bureaucracy has to go through his name: she doesn’t have a Social Security Number and she can’t even open a bank account in her name. Women give up so much to follow their partners. They make a huge sacrifice just to find more barriers."
"The immigration laws don’t allow the partner to work so they lower the family income. This means that the family will spend less money and contribute less to the economy."
"She had always worked and had always been an independent woman. This situation affected her self-esteem and she felt as a useless unproductive part of the society."
"She had lost her identity and she didn’t feel comfortable socializing because in the back of her mind she was always thinking that she wasn’t allowed to work."
"She started to dislike herself and the woman she had become without independence. She was qualified and felt she deserved a chance to work."
"The immigrations laws don’t affect just the life of dependent partners. They can also create huge barriers to foreign-born mothers with American children."
"She thinks that immigration officers suspect that all women that come to the U.S. are looking for an American husband. Once again, another black mark for women in the eyes of the law."
"The Visa situation can be very stressful for international families and immigration laws are not understanding. They had many difficult moments trying to figure everything out and make everybody happy."
"As women, we risk way more than having to deal with a horrible boss. Maybe you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, but instead of being free to quit, you still have to go to an immigration lawyer, spend money and prove that you should be allowed to leave your job."
"They especially take a toll on the life of expat women that have to build a professional life but also take care of the house and the family. Immigration authorities need to take responsibility and laws need to be more flexible."
"Immigration laws limit creativity. It’s especially difficult for women that also have to take care of the family. After a lot of dedication and efforts, you end up wondering if your idea will see the light of the day because of the Visa issue."
"There are a lot of women that want to become entrepreneurs but they face two major problems: the Visa limitations and the lack of a supportive ecosystem. The community needs to come together and understand the challenges to eliminating them."
"Expat women face more barriers than men. A lot of dependent partners are turning into entrepreneurship as a hobby because they are not allowed to work. These laws are costing America economic growth because these women are already here and could contribute to the economy."
"A small percentage of women looks for venture capital and is able to do so. If the systematic gender bias gets improved the community can move in more diverse directions."
"They encounter the same obstacles of native born women when trying to start a business, like the gender bias of certain industries, with the additional challenge of being an immigrant."
"Entrepreneurship among women is on the rise worldwide and this phenomenon increases the likelihood that new immigrant women will arrive in the United States with some entrepreneurial experience, ready to open great businesses."
"More and more, immigrant women are coming to the United States not as the dependent relatives of immigrant men, but as workers. According to the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS), there were 13.1 million immigrant women workers in the country."
Check out the trailer of ONE FOOT IN