This is an edited excerpt from Catherine Wang’s paper entitled “Asian Women in Sweatshops.”
Asian women sweatshop workers’ migration to the United States is not purely financial but also a result of United States’ imperialism in Asia. United States policymakers and public tend to think that immigrants come to the United States because of poverty, economic stagnation, and overpopulation….The existing research indicates that Asian women immigrant workers come to the United States to find opportunity as a result of United States imperialistic and financial presence in Asia. They work low-wage jobs in sweatshops where they remain due to isolation in their ethnic enclave. Low wages keep them tied to the jobs they support their families with. Research suggests that globalization has shaped the apparel manufacturing industry; the pressure and competition to produce products with the largest profit margins possible leads to the abuse of exploited, women, immigrant, and undocumented workers. The protections that the government tries to provide are insufficient due to a lack of enforcement officers to see them through.