Becoming a Citizen: Marriage, Immigration, and Assimilation

  • United States

Becoming a Citizen: Marriage, Immigration, and Assimilation

Type de ressource: 

This chapter examines how this experience of becoming a citizen is affected by, and in turn further entrenches, gender inequality. Although the law of immigration and naturalization comports with principles of formal gender equality, the law especially the law of immigration, has gendered effects. Women are eligible to apply for green cards base don a variety of qualifications, and their ability to qualify is determined primary by the economic and cultural circumstances from which they come. Most women are unable to meet the qualifications required for a green card base on employment because they lack the skills deemed important by the United States. Instead, the vast majority of women who apply to become permanent residents do so based on relationships with U.S. citizen family members, usually husbands. The result is that the pool of people available to seek naturalized citizenship includes a disproportionate number of women who are eligible because of their marital relationship and a disproportionate number of men who are aligible because of their occupational skills.


Read chapter

  • Abrams, Kerry. Becoming a Citizen: Marriage, Immigration, and Assimilation. In Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship, ed. Linda McClain & Joanna Grossman, Cambridge University Press 2009.