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Archive for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sandra Fluke says immigration reform crucial to women’s movement

March 27, 2013

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Sandra Fluke took a different-than-expected tack in her speech at Kansas University on Wednesday night, by making the case that women's rights and immigrant rights are one and the same.

The women's rights advocate said that all Americans must, citing the name of her speech, "make their voices heard" to stand up for the often underrepresented group.

“Our immigrant brothers’ fight and our immigrant sisters’ fight is our fight too,” she said. “I think it’s incumbent upon all of us to be an ally.”

Fluke, who rose to prominence last year after testifying before a U.S. House panel about the need for contraception access and subsequently being called a "slut" and "prostitute" by conservative talker Rush Limbaugh, gave the 2013 Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture in the Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union before a crowd of hundreds. She chose to focus on immigration reform because of Congress' current focus on the issue. “This is our generation’s chance to get this right," she said.

She contended that the U.S. has an “employment-based” immigration system. Four out of five job visas go to men, she remarked, while women can wait as long as 20 years to reunite with their families in the States. Same-sex couples are unable to immigrate together because, thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act, their unions aren’t recognized by the federal government. Federal-immigration reform, she said, must focus on “family unity,” or “the right of all families to stay together regardless” of the circumstances. A new immigration system must also allow for stay-at-home mothers, she said.

Immigrant women are also at an increased risk for violence, Fluke asserted, whether because of smugglers, human traffickers or exploitative partners. Many are “trapped in modern-day slavery,” she said. Domestic-abuse victims are less likely to call the police because of the threat of deportation. U Visas prevent that problem by giving crime victims a path to citizenship; that policy must be expanded, Fluke said.

Women are also more likely to lack health insurance because they work at jobs that don’t offer it, she said, so they end up turning to emergency rooms for care.

For the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., more than half of them women, “Their voices are not strong enough on their own,” Fluke said. “They need the rest of us” — Americans, or as Fluke called them, the “U.S.-born descendants of immigrants.”

“I fervently hope we don’t miss our chance to make our voices heard,” she said, “to make women’s history for the next women’s history month.”

Comments

wigglwagon 1 year, 9 months ago

Any proposed reform that does not include mandatory jail terms for employers of illegal aliens will be a complete failure just as the '86 Amnesty was a failure.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

Well, she certainly is not wasting her 15 mins of fame. If she had made sense in the first place...I wouldn't think she was such a fluke!

overthemoon 1 year, 9 months ago

She made perfect sense and presented her case eloquently. Perhaps you never bothered to listen or watch her testimony and decided to rely on third or fourth hand accounts that scewed and distorted her message.

ksjayhawk74 1 year, 9 months ago

Ridiculous, I guessing you didn't actually read the story.

That's OK, though. We give you an E for effort.

parrothead8 1 year, 9 months ago

People like you are the exact reason why more people need to listen to what Sandra Fluke has to say.

jonas_opines 1 year, 9 months ago

A new Pavlovian experiment.

Say "Sandra Fluke"

Watch misogynist salivate.

fiddleback 1 year, 9 months ago

Well at least she's trying to do some good with it. When's the last time you saw somebody earnestly trying to use the spotlight to help the disadvantaged? She's trying to redirect some of that light onto some of the most invisible members of our society; I don't doubt that many female immigrants, legal or illegal, are “trapped in modern-day slavery”...

And besides, if you're really that bitter that Fluke became a household name overnight, try directing your ire at the right-wing punditry who ensured that outcome with their rapid, bigoted overreactions to her original advocacy of contraception coverage.

ksjayhawk74 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm guessing optimist also didn't read the article.

fiddleback 1 year, 9 months ago

...and meanwhile your health insurance covers your Viagra....her fame may be a fluke but your "logic" is a laugh.

verity 1 year, 9 months ago

As I recall, it was Rush Limbaugh's vile tirades that caused Sandra Fluke's name to become a household word. That worked out well, didn't it, Mr Limbaugh?

ThePilgrim 1 year, 9 months ago

Funny how "advocate" and "activist" are used interchangeably, but only based on one's political leanings/slant.

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