"Female Troubles": The Plight of Foreign Household Workers Pursuing Lawful Permanent Residency through Employment-Based Immigration

By Brady, Susan L. | Houston Journal of International Law, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

"Female Troubles": The Plight of Foreign Household Workers Pursuing Lawful Permanent Residency through Employment-Based Immigration


Brady, Susan L., Houston Journal of International Law


I. INTRODUCTION
II. THE PROCEDURE
     A. Temporary Residency: The Nonimmigrant Visa
        1. "Too Hot, Too Cold, Too Big, Too Small" or
           "The Goldilocks Problem": Why Most
           Household Workers Are Unable to Secure
           Nonimmigrant Visa Status Through Their
           Employers
        2. B-1 Business Visitor
        3. J-1 Exchange Visitor
        4. H-2B Unskilled Worker
     B. Permanent Residency: The Immigrant Visa
        1. Introduction
        2. Step One: Alien Labor Certification
        3. Step Two: Immigrant Visa Petition
        4. Step Three: Adjustment of Status or Visa
           Processing
III. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS
     A. Solution Number One: Permanently Restore
        Section 245(i) of the INA
        1. Background
        2. The Problem: The Catch-22 Legal Nightmare
           Faced by Undocumented Immigrants Who Are
           Unable to Secure Lawful Status in the United
           States
        3. Of Critics & Systemic Cracks: Why
           Immigration Reforms Are Bad (or Good!)
        4. The Terrorist Spin: How 9/11 Recharged the
           Undocumented Immigration Debate
        5. "Female Troubles": How Gender Plays Out in
           the Debate
        6. Conclusion: Immigration Laws Should Be
           Equitably Reformed to Give More Workers a
           Bite of the Apple
     B. Solution Number Two: Increase the Number of
        Immigrant Visas Available for Unskilled Workers
        1. WANTED: Gender-Sensitive Legislation! How
           the Effect of IMMACT Has Been Devastating to
           Women's Interests--Domestic and Foreign Alike
        2. Conclusion: Increasing the Number of
           Immigrant Visas Available for Unskilled
           Workers Would Dramatically Improve Women's
           Roles in the Home and in the Workplace
     C. Solution Number Three: Reclassify Certain
        Household Workers as Skilled
        1. Background
        2. "Women's Work": The Department of Labor,
           Through Their Blanket Classification of All
           Household Workers as Unskilled, Perpetuates
           the Legacy of Gender-Based Discrimination in
           the Labor Market
        3. Conclusion: Household Workers, and Most
           Notably Nannies, Need to be Reclassified as
           Skilled Workers by the Department of Labor--For
           the Good of Women Everywhere
     D. Solution Number Four: Toss out the Business
        Necessity Requirement for Live-In Household
        Workers
        1. Background
        2. Problems
        3. The Cases: BALCA Cases That Showcase the
           Business Necessity Requirement for the Live-In
           Household Worker
        4. Conclusion: The Business Necessity Standard
           is Misplaced in the Context of Live-In
           Household Workers

IV. CONCLUSION

I. INTRODUCTION

Throughout the history of the United States, the political debate over immigration policy has been exceedingly fraught with drama and controversy. And never has this been as true as it is today, in the aftermath of the tragedies of September 11th. The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 "radically changed the political debate over immigration issues." (1) On the eve of the terrorist attacks, Congress and the President were poised to enact liberalizing immigration reform measures. (2) But this day changed the world, and such liberalizing legislation was immediately derailed as the United States turned its attention to the more pressing issue of national security. (3)

A conflux of swirling emotions now directs the post-September 11th debate. The direction U.S. immigration policy should take has become increasingly contested among those with irreconcilable views, such as those in favor of liberalizing current immigration laws, including legalizing certain undocumented immigrants; (4) those in favor of restricting current immigration laws, including closely tracking the immigrant community pursuant to domestic antiterrorism measures; (5) and everyone in between. …

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