Why We Need Fair, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Now

By Qudsia Jafree
Senior Policy Associate, Racial Justice & Civil Rights, YWCA USA

 “Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history.”
– Oscar Handlin, 1952 Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Uprooted

Immigration reform is a major focus in the news and of policymakers at the state level and here in Washington, DC – particularly today. The history of immigration impacts all of us, especially women and children. Perhaps you can trace your family lineage back several hundred years, to when your European ancestors were settlers fleeing religious persecution or famine. Or maybe you can trace it back to just a few decades ago, when your family migrated to the U.S. for a new life, or in hopes of reuniting with family members already present. What these two stories have in common is a rich, shared history of migration that essentially defines what the United States stands for: leaving behind home, family, and all that is familiar to go a place unknown that might offer new opportunities for work and education, and freedom from persecution in a society that values the pursuit of justice for all. Historically, America offered the prospect of freedom and success for any immigrant who worked hard enough for it.

Today, we’ve lost sight of our shared narrative as Americans who have welcomed immigrants – old and new – to our shores for centuries. Instead, we find ourselves mired in a battle over semantics, in which some feel threatened by immigrants who they perceive as weakening our economy and taking away jobs from others. At the YWCA, we don’t see it this way.

YWCA is fighting for YOU on Capitol Hill Day!

by Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy, YWCA USA

Desiree Hoffman

Desiree Hoffman

Today is an important day for the YWCA and for all the women we serve.  Here in our nation’s capital, 250 YWCA leaders — from Oregon to New York, Texas to North Dakota — are gathered today to advocate for women, girls and families. Not just the ones that come through the doors of our 1,300 locations across the U.S. every day, but for ALL women and girls.

United to serve 2 million women and girls across country, YWCA is a force to be reckoned with!

#HERvotes Blog Carnival: Women and Health Care

YWCA USA is a partner in HERvotes, a coalition of leading women’s organizations focused on mobilizing women voters in 2012 around preserving women’s Health and Economic rights (HERrights.) This post is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Welcome to the #HERVotes Blog Carnival! This time, the focus is on women and health care. The blog posts below from YWCA USA and other HERvotes coalition members share details about the new benefits from the health care reform law, while also offering original insights on what’s at stake for women and health care. You’ll also find personal stories and analysis delving into the health care services we’ve all gained–and will gain–through the passage of the new health care reform law.

The Affordable Care Act and Women

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy, YWCA USA

March 23, 2011, marked the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Yet polls show that less than 47% of Americans know how it affects them.1  Lack of understanding was highest among low-income households and the uninsured.  When asked, “Do you feel you have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact you personally?,” 61 percent of households with incomes less than $40,000 per year said “no;” 60 percent of uninsured individuals responded “no.”

Action Alert: Tell Congress to Support A Debt Deal Based on Shared Sacrifice

Stand with the YWCA and the people of this great nation! Tell Congress to Support A Debt Deal Based on Shared Sacrifice

If you make one call to congress this year, let this be the call.

“We will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions. Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice. Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon.