Senators Introduce 'Female Amendment' to Gang of Eight Bill

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Immigration Bill

Thirteen female senators in favor of "comprehensive immigration reform" introduced a so-called "female amendment" on Wednesday to the Gang of Eight's immigration bill in an attempt to garner the support of more women voters. 

The amendment would create a "Tier 3" point system that would add 30,000 more visas without reducing the number of visas in other merit-based tiers.

Sens. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) teamed up with 10 other Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), to sponsor the bill. 

The sponsors allege the "new merit-based point system for employment green cards" disadvantages unmarried women trying to immigrate. The senators said their amendment would give unmarried women more opportunities to come to the United States since "many women in other countries do not have the same educational or career advancement opportunities available to men."

They claimed employment-based visas "favor men over women by nearly a four to one margin as they place a premium on male-dominated fields like engineering and computer science." The proposal's supporters asserted the Hirono-Murray amendment "would establish a category in the merit-based point system that would provide a fair opportunity for women to compete for merit-based green cards."

They said the merit-based system being proposed in the bill "will prioritize green cards for immigrants with high levels of education or experience" and claimed it "in effect cements into U.S. immigration law unfairness women face across the globe."

“My colleagues and I understand that too many women in other countries don’t have the same educational or career advancement opportunities available to men,” Hirono said. “We should not cement those inequalities into our immigration laws. Our measure would help make the immigration bill fairer for women and give women across the globe more opportunities to compete for green cards in the new merit-based system.”

Murkowski said the amendment would grant more visas to nurses and other women in healthcare positions.

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are the 10 other sponsors of the bill.


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