Response to Link Between Same-Sex Marriage and Immigration

Response to Link Between Same-Sex Marriage and Immigration


My main motivation to attain an education has been to become an immigration lawyer one day to help those that are discriminated and underrepresented because of their legal status. Before the course, I had never thought about the intersection between immigration and the lgbt community.  People who are both queer and undocumented are almost invisibilized within the national discussion of the issue.  The truth is that there is no legal path for them to legalize their status in the country. Same-sex marriage continues being a major national debate with no clear end.

I found Julio Salgado’s work not only amazing, but also inspiring that he is not afraid to express what it means to be an undocumented queer of color.  My favorite image is the one of the male with the butterfly wings for multiple reasons. The most obvious are the variety of colors used. The words written on the wings are not only strong, but also in both English and Spanish. I also liked that the characters body figure is very realistic as opposed to the typical Abercrombie and Fitch model. Salgado’s paintings challenge many different issues at the same time, which I just find fascinating.

Furthermore, the short interview video with him is not only insightful, but also very educational. I learned what “gold star” means in the lgbt community –somebody that has not had sexual contact with a person of the opposite sex. My favorite part of the video is when Salgado says “You cant eat your undocumented cake and deport it at the same time” because it is a reality that the nation faces.  The United States government and society at large benefit from the labor of immigrants, yet they are alienated and framed as not belonging here and interfering with the “American way of life”. When in reality they only contribute to facilitating it for very cheap.


Transnational Marriage among Asians

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Through intermediary companies, men are able to “order” women as their brides. Its history can be traced for 19th century, but this kind of “system” still exists. Commodification of women can be greatly related to the increasing number of transnational marriages.

Globalization makes it easier for people to cross the borders. The increasing number of international couples can be seen as a good aspect of the global world. However, it should not be considered just as a naturally occurring phenomenon, but they are often systemically structured, especially in the case of Asia. There are increasing numbers of transnational couples among Asians, and most of cases, foreign women get married to men of the destination countries. It can be expected that both countries of men and brides have some domestic and personal situations, and in order to improve these problems, transnational marriage may be one of the solutions. These marriages are conducted by the local governments and the private businesses “legally”, or by illegal companies, which we call is human trafficking.

Feminization of migration

There are some ways for female migrants to get married and settle in the destination countries, excluding the cases that both man and women hoped to get married each other.

1) Marriage migration: unbalanced female-male ratio, and a lack of brides in rural farming regions can be the triggers for hosting countries.

2) Migration as workers → later female immigrants get married in order to stay legally. : economic problems of women in home countries, as well as needs for the cheaper labor force in the destination countries may be the trigger.

As a result, these female migrants will face various problems, including language barriers and legal status. In order to avoid human trafficking and for the destination countries’ security or benefits, it is often said that the governments, especially those of host countries, should restrict these activities, which can eventually lead to the sex trade. Each government has some regulations that do not allow every migrant to stay in the country or to be a citizen. In some cases, migrants are required to have some language proficiency, economic status, professions, or need to be married to a local citizen. However, these laws also do not help female immigrants, and in addition, these do not address the core problem of the situation.


Through the paper, I may not be able to address international marriages led by the human trafficking. Instead, I will focus on transnational marriages, which seem legal, but actually affect females negatively. I would like to address following questions in the paper.

1) What are domestic reasons of increasing number of international couples in Asia? : both country of men and that of women.

2) What are specific difficulties that migrant women may face? (Including language, health care, job opportunity, or ethnic/gendered discrimination)

3) What are some solutions, which can be addressed inside each country to resolve transnational consequences? (It seems that both hosting and sending counties of female migrants are using them to solve their “domestic” problems. Is it possible to improve the situations of those females by addressing each problem inside the nation, rather than seeking broader solutions from the beginning? )

Secondary source:

Piper, Nicola. Wife or Worker? Worker or Wife? Marriage and Cross-Border Migration in Contemporary Japan.