Immigration and Women This Week: Mixed Emotions

Ed. note: This is a guest post by Juliana Britto Schwartz. By day, Juliana is a student at University of California, Santa Cruz. By night, she is a Latina feminist blogger at, where she writes about reproductive health justice, immigration, and feminist movements in Latin America.



In case you missed it, the news on what it was like to be an immigrant woman this week:

Something to Inspire You

Yesterday the Rally for Citizenship marched on the Capitol in Washington D.C., drawing thousands of protesters and calling for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. The rally had a diverse array of participants: organizations for Arab immigrants, African immigrants, allies and undocumented as well.

Something To Make You Angry:

The new immigration reform bill might exclude newly documented citizens from Obamacare, leaving them with extremely limited healthcare options. This would cast them as only partial citizens, discrimination which Latinas are already familiar with, considering that 45% of Latinas do not have health insurance.

The same bill is unlikely to include LGBTQ couples within family reunification visas, meaning that certain families continue to be shattered through the immigration and detention system.

Something To Make You Puke in Your Mouth:

Mexican Barbie Comes with a Passport. Because you know, most Mexicans are “illegal” and Mattel wanted to be sure to point out that Mexican Barbie is a “good” immigrant.

Something to Make You Laugh

 This lady knows how to win her way into conservative hearts.

 Something to Make You Cry

This music video, “The Ice” speaks to the constant fear of deportation that so many immigrants live with each day, unsure if they whether they will wake up with their loved ones or not. The chorus goes “ICE is loose in the streets, we never know when it will be our turn.”

The actors in the video are almost all undocumented themselves, and two of them (Erika Andiola and Isaac Barrera) are prominent immigrant rights activists.

Something To Do About All This Sh*t

 Want to help in the push for humane immigration reform? has got some great petitions going that you can support!

Join the conversation about the rights of undocumented women by tweeting #4immigrantwomen.

Join the Conversation

  • Annie

    Great article overall. But re: Something to Make You Puke in Your Mouth – with about 60 seconds of research on the Mattel website you may have noticed that ALL of the Barbies in the “Barbies of the World” collection come with passports and sticker sheets. France Barbie, Philipines Barbie, Spain Barbie… China, Holland, Chile, Brazil, India, Ireland, Australia, and Argentina – they all come with a passport and stickers, “to record Barbie dolls travels.”

    It’s part of being a collector’s edition. It’s fun for the target audience. Passports can be fun (I know was stoked when I got my first one, but I know that is also not everyone’s experience). And stickers, well, for kids of a certain age, stickers are like crack. When I was a kid, collecting stickers or stamps in a passport book would have been like the perfect storm of funsies. I remember my fifth grade teacher giving us a “passport” to mark off books we had read and – It. Was. Awesome. I mean, would it be better if they only put European countries in the “Barbies of the World” collection or only gave Wealthy White American Barbie a passport (sorry “Other” Barbies, you’re just going to have to wait for Wealthy White American Barbie to come visit you!)

    I know a lot about Barbie is problematic (to say the least) and I don’t make a habit of defending this toy. But I’m really just not buying the racism here. It’s not like they named her “Mexican American Barbie,” dressed her in jeans and a t-shirt, and gave her a passport while not bothering to give one to “France Barbie” or “Australia Barbie.” They’re inspiring girls to travel and learn about other cultures which promotes tolerance and understanding, fosters independence, and increases confidence. They even have a section on their website where you can “travel” to each region, play games, get travel tips, learn interesting facts, and practice saying “hello” and “goodbye” in the local language. Obvious, unwavering sexism of Barbie toys aside – What is bad about this particular concept??

    I know that this is a comparatively small thing, but it’s an ongoing issue with the blog for me lately. I appreciate the “Daily Feminist Reader” and other link-rich posts because they expose readers to interesting news that maybe wasn’t worth devoting an entire post to. But I’m over the knee-jerk reactions to things and re-blogs of re-blogs of re-blogs. Look it up before posting it here or you’re going to lose some legitimacy.