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From Susan Pearce, East Carolina University: My students are reading Immigration and Women for our Gender and Society class this semester, and they confirmed that they also hear the stereotype of the male, working class Mexican immigrant who is “stealing jobs” when people discuss immigration. The state of North Carolina is not nearly as diverse as California or New York, but when I ask how many students have parents or grandparents who were born in other countries, quite a few hands go up. The class includes students of Polish, Hmong, and French descent, among others. So the issues that we discuss in the book are sounding familiar to some of them.

I asked students to choose stories of women to compare or contrast in our last exam on the first chapters of the book, and I noticed the story of Reyna Gomez repeatedly penned on the exam pages. Reyna had to escape Honduras for fear of losing her life, and was beholden to coyotes to get her all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border. With trepidation, she crossed the Rio Grande River, helping a young teenage girl make it to the other side as well. The Border Patrol scooped them up as soon as they made it to shore, however, and a detention center awaited her. Although she was eventually released and allowed to stay in the country, hers has been an arduous journey that inspired her to become involved in workers’ rights movements. She is one of many immigrant activists pushing to change the standard ways that marginalized people are often treated.