On Monday’s traditional labor holiday May Day, hundreds of thousands of women and men marched in cities across the country to demand legislation that would allow immigrants to apply for citizenship. “It’s an incredible statement of the immigrant community being mobilized and coming into their own voice,” said Joanne Lin, the senior staff attorney for Legal Momentum’s Immigrant Women’s Program, in an interview with Ms. magazine.
The estimated three million undocumented women immigrants working in the US would be among the greatest beneficiaries of comprehensive immigration reform, according to Legal Momentum. Undocumented women workers are vulnerable under current immigration laws, because they don’t have access to social services and aren’t protected by labor laws. Many undocumented women work multiple jobs in order to support themselves and their families. “I want to come out of the shadows,” Josefina Cordoba, an undocumented worker participating in Monday’s march, told the Los Angeles Times.