Protecting Undocumented Workers on the Pandemic’s Front Lines

Nicole Prchal Svajlenka
Date of Publication: 
December, 2020
Source Organization: 
Center for American Progress

There are five million undocumented immigrants, or nearly three in four, working in sectors crucial to the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Protecting Undocumented Workers on the Pandemic’s Front Lines: A Look at Certain Sectors,” published by the Center for American Progress, introduces four fact sheets, each of which outlines the importance of these millions of undocumented immigrant essential workers to a sector of the economy classified as “essential critical infrastructure” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. These sectors are: construction, the food supply chain, the care economy, and health care. The fact sheets outline the largest occupations or industries of each sector and provide a detailed picture of the diverse ways undocumented immigrants contribute to these essential sectors. Underscoring that “these workers and sectors are vitally important to both the U.S. response to the pandemic and its recovery from the resulting economy devastation,” the author urges the Biden administration and Congress to put protections in place for undocumented essential workers, including by creating a pathway to citizenship for these immigrants and their families. (Jillian DiPersio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Svajlenka, N. (2020, December 2). Protecting Undocumented Workers on the Pandemic’s Front Lines. New American Economy.