Friday, January 26, 2007

It's all connected

In keeping with reproductive rights-themed blogging, brownfemipower has another piece of evidence as to why it's not, in fact, only about Roe v. Wade, particularly if you're, say, an immigrant woman. Reposting notes from a conference she attended recently, she writes (the words of a Priscilla Huang from the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum):

1. Intro: I’m going to talk about immigration reform, and how debates over immigration reform have put pregnant immigrant women in the center of controversy. I’m also going to talk about some of the barriers to repro health and maternal health care that immigrant women, particularly API, women face...

3. Currently, our citizenship laws confer automatic citizenship on persons born in the US.
1. The granting of automatic citizenship is a 14th Amend right that has been in place since it was enacted in 1868
2. Because of our birth citizenship laws, anti-immigrant policy makers and advocates are trying to control the birth of immigrant children by controlling women’s bodies.
3. Anti-immigrant groups such as FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) are lobbying Congress members to deny birth citizenship rights to undocumented immigrants...

3. Unfortunately, Congress is listening. On Feb. 9, 2005 Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) introduced Citizenship Reform Act (2005) sought to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny citizenship at birth to children born in the U.S. of parents who are not citizens or permanent resident aliens. Bill had 87 co-sponsors

4. Reports that immigration officials have been targeting pregnant immigrant women
1. In Feb. 2006, Jiang Zhen Xing a Chinese woman pregnant with twins miscarried after federal immigration officials forcibly tried to deport her from her home in Philadelphia. Jiang and her family arrived at the immigration office for what she thought was a routine interview. While her husband and sons were waiting for her in the lobby of the immigration office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials hustled her into a minivan, and drove her to NYC’s JFK airport for immediate deportation.
1. Jiang was seized for 8 hours, was not given anything to eat during these 8 hours and was not allowed to seek medical care when she told ICE officials that she was unwell. The deportation halted when she complained of severe stomach pains and was taken to a hospital where doctors found she had miscarried.
2. Jiang entered the U.S. illegally in 1995, and was notified in April 2004 that she would be deported. But the interesting thing is that, she was soon told that she could stay in the U.S. as long as she was “under supervision,” which required regular check-ins. And so, the question we have to ask is why would immigration officials be in such a rush to send a pregnant woman back to China after she had been allowed to stay in the U.S. for 10 years? (knowing that she would face a forced abortion)...

...6. Manifestation of fear of immigrant motherhood in policy and politics
1. Citizenship Reform Act
2. Changes to Medicaid regulations that deny services or impose stricter documentation requirements
7. Anti-immigrant and anti-choice links
1. Nov. 2006 report from the Missouri House Special Committee on Immigration Reform that concluded that abortion is partly to blame for illegal immigration b/c it caused a shortage of American workers
1. “If you kill 44 million of your potential workers, it’s not too surprising we would be desperate for workers.” – Rep. Edgar Emery (R)

Read the rest of those notes at brownfemipower's. There are also a number of longer articles in pdf format available for downloading at the NAPW site, in the sidebar.


Anonymous said...

I have been trying to resist compulsively reposting every single one of BFP's posts (pretty much) since she got back from NAPW. It's such important information! I'm glad you're sharing it too.

Rosie said...

Well, that opens up a great big ole barrel of night crawlers and not just for immigrant women. This sort of thinking reminds me of the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo problem where the US has declared itself immune from the Geneva Convention. The point being that we treat people a certain way so our people will be treated a certain way abroad.

My niece has a UK Dad and a US Mom. She was born in the UK and lived most of her childhood in Indonesia. By this thinking, she would not have her US citizenship.

Hell, by the Homeland Security way of thinking, her blond, green-eyed butt should cavity searched every time she stepped foot in an airline terminal.

Unless, of course, we are just going to limit such rules to those of the ethnic persuasion.

What a bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

Well, that opens up a great big ole barrel of night crawlers and not just for immigrant women.

In spades. Eliminating birthright citizenship, which would require a radical revision of 14th Amendment jurisprudence, would, if consistently applied, call into question the citizenship of anyone whose great-grandparents, say, entered the US illegally - or retained foreign citizenship or were otherwise the subjects of any other government at the time their children, the current person's grandparents, were born here - a hundred years ago. History being what it is, more such people exist, mostly unwittingly, than some people imagine.

This won't get anywhere in a Democratic Congress, but will continue to be a huge issue for the right. It behooves anti-racists to pay attention.