Step Forward, a new website aimed at providing roughly 5.2 million undocumented immigrant women and their families with the resources to understand their rights in the U.S., launched Tuesday, on International Women’s Day, NBC News reported. The site, which is available in both English and Spanish, is expected to keep readers updated on the status of immigration cases in the Supreme Court and inform immigrants of already-existing programs.
"We've talked with immigrant women as we've developed the website and had them even involved in the design of the website," said Andrea Cristina Mercado, co-chair of the We Belong Together campaign, which helped launch the site with Immigration Advocates Network. "[They not only chose] which design they liked the best but also the resources that were important for them to have on there, like fraud, and worker rights and other sections in the website."
A tab on the website entitled “Stories” allows undocumented women to share their personal stories and allows other readers to submit stories. This feature is especially important due to the anti-immigration rhetoric that has been expressed in the current presidential election cycle, according to Mercado.
"We've been really concerned by the hateful rhetoric in the presidential debate, and that's why we think that now, more than ever, it's important to lift up the voices and stories of immigrant women and humanize the issue," said Mercado, NBC News reported. "Three-quarters of immigrants are women and children. That's why we have a stories section on the website, to hear the stories and see the faces of women who are impacted by this issue."
Another tab called “Your Rights” provides readers with resources regarding their immigrant rights and worker rights. The website also includes a feature in which readers can enter their ZIP code to search for immigration legal services near them, providing them with a directory of nonprofit organizations that offer low-cost or free services.