Table of Contents

1 “We Can’t Go Back”: Immigrant Women, Intersections, and Agency 1


Part I: Who They Are

2 “Your Story Drops on You”: Who Are These Women? 19


Part II: How They Come

3 “I Had to Start Over”: Entering through the Front Door 47

4 “I Had to Leave My Country One Day”: Entering through the Back Door 77


Part III: What They Do

5 “I Am Not Only a Domestic Worker; I Am a Woman”: Immigrant Women and Domestic Service 103

6 “Mighty Oaks”: The Entrepreneurs 129

7 “There Is Still Work to Do”: Immigrant Women in Gender-Atypical Occupations 159

8 “Always in Life, We Are Ripping”: Culture Work 177


Part IV: Where They Are Going

9 “Misbehaving Women”: The Agency of Activism 207

10 “Making History”: Drawing Conclusions, Looking Forward 235

Appendix A: Notes on Research Methods 255

Appendix B: List of Interviewed Women 259

Appendix C: Timeline: 263

U.S. Immigration Policy and Women, 1875–2009

Notes 265

Bibliography 281

Index 301

About the Authors 309