Labor &

The ECONOMY

Editors: Erika Lee and Lei Zhang


The headline of the Migration Policy Institute’s March 2020 report perfectly sums up the status of immigrant workers during COVID-19: “Immigrant Workers: Vital to the U.S. COVID-19 Response, Disproportionately Vulnerable.” As the report, and many of the sources below reveal, immigrants play outsized roles on the frontlines of the war against the virus as workers in health care, food production, and transportation. However, these are the same occupations that put them at greater risk of exposure. (See Immigrant Health bibliography) They are celebrated as “essential,” but what that really means is that they are disproportionately exposed to COVID-19, sometimes with deadly consequences. By late spring, cluster infections at meatpacking plants were being reported while investigative journalists exposed a shocking lack of necessary health and safety protections. As one poultry worker told the Arkansas Times, “We’re not essential, we’re expendable.” Asian immigrant and Asian American workers were additionally targeted by anti-Asian racism (see Anti-Asian xenophobia bibliography).


Moreover, immigrants are disproportionately represented in industries such as food service and domestic household service that have been particularly affected by job losses resulting from economic shutdowns. In May, employment data revealed that nearly 1 out 5 Latinos were unemployed, a rate higher than any other racial group. Immigrant-owned businesses have struggled to attract customers and stay open during the pandemic-related recession. Undocumented immigrant workers (5% of the U.S. labor force) have been especially hard hit. They face the pandemic and the economic shutdown with no safety net. And they and their U.S.-citizen and legal permanent resident relatives have been excluded from federal relief such as the CARES Act stimulus relief checks.


New and existing immigration policies have also impacted immigrant workers. Early in the pandemic, critics pointed to the negative consequences of some existing immigration policies. Work visa limitations restricted immigrant doctors and other immigrant healthcare workers from joining in the fight against COVID-19. The Trump administration’s public charge rule, which allows officials to deny green cards and visas to immigrants who use public benefits, left many scared to seek medical help. Temporary farmworkers were exempt from the Trump administration’s widespread immigration ban signed in April, but there were no governmental efforts to protect their health and safety.


In short, the pandemic has posed difficult choices for immigrant workers: go to work to get paid, but risk infection. This annotated bibliography – organized chronologically – helps answer questions such as: How are immigrants disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout related to COVID-19? How are they affected by immigration policy changes directed at immigrant workers? How do unsafe work conditions in immigrant-heavy industries reveal larger health disparities and inequalities?

Jan, Tracy and Laura Riley. “Suspension of visa processing for Mexican seasonal workers hits U.S. farms, fisheries.Washington Post, March 18, 2020. The Washington Post reports that “as harvest season begins amid the coronavirus pandemic, farms and fisheries responsible for feeding the U.S. are expecting fewer guest workers.” The State Department suspended routine visa processing in Mexico including those for temporary workers. Although seasonal workers with H-2A visas in hand are not affected, the American Farm Bureau Federation warns that “the suspension in visa processing could have a major effect on agricultural production.”

Peters, Joey. Things are changing every hour': Immigrant business owners in the Twin Cities grapple with Coronavirus Restrictions.” Sahan Journal, March 19, 2020. Small immigrant-run businesses are adapting to the new state regulations that curtail business operations to slow the spread of COVID-19 while struggling with difficulties such as offering online delivery, having higher risk of infection, and lacking business insurance.


Bedard, Paul. “Hire American: Halt to Immigrant Hiring Sought during Virus Crisis.” Washington Examiner, March 20, 2020 (Opinion). The Washington Examiner columnist interviews and quotes representatives from immigration restriction organizations to argue that "American workers get the first crack at jobs across the economic spectrum,” according to one FAIR spokesperson.

Peters, Joey. “Things are changing every hour': Immigrant business owners in the Twin Cities grapple with Coronavirus Restrictions.Sahan Journal, March 19, 2020. Small immigrant-run businesses are adapting to the new state regulations that curtail business operations to slow the spread of COVID-19 while struggling with difficulties such as offering online delivery, having higher risk of infection, and lacking business insurance.


Bedard, Paul. “Hire American: Halt to Immigrant Hiring Sought during Virus Crisis.Washington Examiner, March 20, 2020. The Washington Examiner columnist interviews and quotes representatives from immigration restriction organizations to argue that "American workers get the first crack at jobs across the economic spectrum,” according to one FAIR spokesperson. (Opinion)

Gelatt, Julia.Immigrant Workers: Vital to the U.S. COVID-19 Response, Disproportionately Vulnerable. Migration Policy Institute, March 2020. In this fact sheet, Gelatt reports that immigrant workers are overrepresented in key areas such as hospitals and grocery stores that are at the frontline of COVID-19. In businesses such as restaurants and bars hit-hard by measures such as shelter-in-place orders, immigrant workers are also more negatively affected.

Hooper, Kate, and Camille LeCoz. A Race Against the Clock: Meeting Seasonal Labor Needs in the Age of COVID-19. Migration Policy Institute, March 2020. The Migration Policy Institute reports that as countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, “seasonal workers are unable to enter and agricultural producers in countries such as Canada, the United States, Belgium, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand are projecting dire labor shortages, with serious implications for food security.”


Costa, Daniel, and Philip Martin.Coronavirus and farmworkers Farm employment, safety issues, and the H-2A guestworker program. Economic Policy Institute, March 24, 2020. A report outlining the impact of pandemic-related policies on farmworker availability and the additional measures - safety, pay, childcare, etc. - that employers may need to consider to hire and keep workers during the pandemic.


Horton, Alex. “Immigrant doctors want to help the Army fight the coronavirus. The Pentagon won't let them.Washington Post, March 26, 2020. The Washington Post interviewed six immigrant doctors enlisted in the U.S. military who “are frustrated that the glacial pace of security checks has slowed their chance to serve at a crucial moment.”


Rose, Joel. “Immigrant Doctors Want To Help Fight Coronavirus Outbreak, But Can't.NPR, March 26, 2020. Work visa limits have restricted immigrant doctors from fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. (Audio)

Neisloss, Liz. “Undocumented Immigrants Face Coronavirus, Job Loss With No Safety Net.WGBH, March 26, 2020. In the Boston area, undocumented immigrants are laid-off and cannot claim unemployment benefits. The biggest concern for them is access to food. (Audio and Video)

Shoichet, Catherine E. “Millions of workers in the US won't be getting stimulus checks.CNN, March 26, 2020. Undocumented immigrants, who make up 5% of U.S. labor force, are not eligible for the stimulus check. CNN reports on the debate over if this group of immigrants should be eligible for social benefits amid the pandemic. (Video)


Rose, Joel. “The Senate Relief Bill Provides Economic Relief — But Not To Some Immigrants.NPR, March 26, 2020. NPR reports that the $2 trillion emergency relief bill “excludes immigrants in the country illegally as well as children who are U.S. citizens but have at least one parent who is undocumented.” Immigrant advocates also criticized the bill for not offering sufficient access to COVID-19 testing and treatment to immigrants who have legal presence in the U.S.


Chen, Natash. “These immigrant doctors want to help the US fight coronavirus, but they're stuck on the sidelines. CNN International, March 30, 2020. CNN reports that “at a time when retired American doctors and nurses are being called back into service to ease the strain on US hospitals, thousands of immigrants who were medical professionals in their home countries sit on the sidelines.” This situation has resulted from the lengthy process of professional records transfer and stringent U.S. licensing requirements for medical health workers as well as cultural and language barriers in American job interviews.


Merelli, Annalisa. “The US is now starting to see the value of immigrant health workers.Quartz, March 30, 2020. Quartz reports that on March 26, “the State Department called on foreign medical professionals who already have US visas to either move forward with their plans to come work in the country or, if they are already in the country, to extend their stay.”


Democracy Now Headline. “Millions of Undocumented Workers Left Out of Coronavirus Stimulus Plan; Dozens of Immigrants on Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center.Democracy Now, March 30, 2020. Trump’s public charge rule has left some immigrants scared to seek medical help, fearing that their application for green cards may be denied. Immigrants at a detention center in Tacoma went on strike to protest their imprisonment and demand that their deportation be postponed.


Khanbabai, Mahsa. “It's Time to Loosen Visa Restrictions and Allow Immigrant Healthcare Professionals to Help Fight COVID-19.Ms. Magazine, March 30, 2020. Citing her immigrant parents’ experiences as medical workers in the U.S., Khanbabai recommends a few steps to allow immigrant healthcare professionals to help fight the pandemic. The pandemic could be a catalyst for modest changes in immigration system to increase the number of physicians and healthcare workers, she argues. (Opinion)

Bobadilla, Eladio. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrant farmworkers are heroes.Washington Post, March 31, 2020. Underscoring the complex and evolving views on immigration by Cesar Chavez, the leader of the farmworker movement in the 1960s and 1970s, Bobadilla argues that “immigrants’ rights must be seen as critical labor rights.” (Opinion)

Romero, Farida Jhabvala. “New COVID-19 Relief Benefits Leave Out Millions Of Undocumented Immigrants.KQED, March 31, 2020. Most of California’s 2 million undocumented immigrant workers are not eligible for the $1200 stimulus check. Many organizations called on the governor and lawmakers to designate emgergency funding to help undocumented residents and others who are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.


Narea, Nicole. “The missing piece in the coronavirus stimulus bill: Relief for immigrants.Vox, April 1, 2020. Vox reports that “overlooking unauthorized immigrants in the coronavirus response could carry public health costs.”


Mathema, Silva. “Removing Barriers for Immigrant Medical Professionals Is Critical To Help Fight Coronavirus.Center For American Progress, April 2, 2020. The pandemic, which has led to office closures and suspension of visa services, has highlighted the barrier confronting immigrant medical workers who make up 17% of the entire health care and social services industry. The article offers policy recommendations to utilize immigrant healthcare workers to fight the pandemic.


Kumar, Anita. “Trump gambles on immigrant workers during coronavirus.Politico, April 2, 2020. The Trump administration prioritized certain immigrants for certain jobs such as medical care workers and H-2B visa holders. Amid the rise of unemployment rate in the U.S., these actions have angered his base voters.


Uhler, Andy. “It's not just undocumented immigrants who could be left out of the stimulus money. Marketplace.org, April 2, 2020. U.S. citizens with spouses or children who are undocumented on their tax returns are not getting the CARES Act stimulus check in their households.


Bhattacharya, Ananya.Two-thirds of H1-B visa applications this year are from Indians.Quartz, April 3, 2020. 67% of the applicants for the H-1B visas are from India. For the first time, the USCIS is accepting e-registration only, and there will likely be glitches.

Shaw, Adam. “Jeff Sessions Calls for Immigration Moratorium.Fox, April 4, 2020. Fox News reports that “Jeff Sessions on Thursday called for a moratorium on all employment-based immigration until the U.S. returns to pre-coronavirus crisis unemployment levels.” (Video: Jeff Sessions on reports China underreported its number of coronavirus cases)

Lerner, Sharon. “Many Immigrant Doctors Want to Fight the Coronavirus but US Visa Rules Make That Illegal.The Intercept, April 6, 2020. The Intercept reports that “the U.S. has more 10,000 physicians who were trained in the U.S. but are unable to work for any hospital other than their current employer because of visa restrictions, despite the historic public health emergency.”


Anderson, Stuart. “Immigration Can Save Lives During America's COVID-19 Crisis.Forbes, April 6, 2020. An interview with William Stock, a leading immigraton lawyer, about the immigration and work restrictions for immigrant doctors and nurses.


Burks, Megan. “Coronavirus fueling 'total chaos' and tough decisions for Minnesota's immigrant workers.Minnesota Public Radio News, April 7, 2020. The article discusses the impact of the switch to remote working and furlough during the pandemic on immigrant workers, especially H-1B visa workers in Minnesota. On April 3, the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit against USCIS to demand the pause of visa deadlines, but the USCIS only offered limited flexibility such as an additional 60 days for appeals.

Alvarado, Monsy. “No work, no stimulus check add anxiety for undocumented immigrant laborers.USA TODAY, April 7, 2020. Undocumented immigrant workers, many of whom were laid off and experienced reduced working hours, are not eligible for the stimulus package. Many have turned to local organizations to put food on the table. The article also recaptures the debate over whether undocumented immigrants should be included in the CARES Act.

Aleaziz, Hamed. “The Coronavirus Has Derailed The Citizenship Oath For Thousands Of Immigrants Who Are Anxious to Vote.BuzzFeed News, April 8, 2020. The citizenship oath ceremony has been suspended since March due to the pandemic, which would affect the number of people obtaining citizenship and the number of eligible voters this year.


Dinan, Stephen. “Immigrants seize pandemic as opportunity to prove worth to US economy.Washington Times, April 8, 2020. The Washington Times reports that “in New York, a group of illegal immigrant women pushed out of their jobs as domestic workers during the coronavirus crisis are sewing homemade face masks, giving themselves a way to earn cash to remain here.” Includes an interview with restrictionist Mark Krikorian who argues that the “coronavirus crisis shows why it’s “unwise” to have a large illegal immigrant population.”


Homan, Tom. “Tom Homan: In fight against coronavirus, enforcing immigration laws saves lives.Fox News, April 8, 2020. In this opinion piece, Homan, the former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), defends Trump’s immigration restrictions and travel bans by particularly highlighting the impact of “illegal border crossings” at the U.S.-Mexico borders on the spread of COVID-19 and the U.S. healthcare system. (Opinion and Video: “CBP chief says agency taking aggressive steps to stem potential coronavirus-driven wave of illegal immigration.”)


Terzo, Gerelyn. “Immigrants Fall Into Gray Area for Battling Coronavirus.Ms. Magazine, April 9, 2020. In contrast to the beginning of the 20th century, immigrants today are more likely to have less stable jobs paid on an hourly basis, Terzo writes. During this pandemic, undocumented immigrants are more concerned about paying their bills and keeping their jobs than the coronavirus, according to a survey. The pandemic will also negatively impact the number of asylum seekers. Its impact on immigration and economy has yet to be realized.

Bernal, Rafael. “Immigrant doctors face challenges to work, even in coronavirus pandemic.The Hill, April 10, 2020. One more challenge that more than 3 million immigrant doctors and healthcare workers face while combating COVID-19 is their immigration paperwork. Medical workers in the DACA program are in an even more difficult situation.

Grabar, Henry. “America Has Abandoned Its Shadow Workforce.Slate Magazine, April 10, 2020. Undocumented immigrant workers have lost their jobs and are experiencing economic plight and legal uncertainty without financial help from the government.


Fernandez, Lisa. “Coronavirus quarantine is becoming catastrophic for undocumented immigrants.KTVU San Francisco, April 11, 2020. Marcos Gonzalez, one of 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., is distressed about paying his bills with his construction work stopped in the quarantine. One glimmer of hope is that California governor is considering economic aid for undocumented immigrants. (Video: SF nonprofit raising money for those who don't qualify for stimulus check)


Miller, Michael E. “An immigrant community faces a 'catastrophic' pandemic without help.Washington Post, April 12, 2020. Langley Park, a neighborhood seven miles from the White House where 70% of adults are immigrants and many are undocumented, is devastated by the pandemic and its economic impact.


Galvan, Astrid, Philip Marcelo, Claudia Torrens and the Associated Press. “Who gets a stimulus check? Millions of tax-paying immigrants won't.Fortune, April 12, 2020. Millions of tax paying immigrants in the U.S. and their children, many of whom are US citizens, are excluded from the $2.2 trillion financial package approved by Congress. (Video)


Martell, Scott. “Our lives depend on immigrants to get us through the coronavirus crisis.Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2020. Martell reminds readers that at least one in six of American healthcare professionals are immigrants and that with shortages of healthcare professionals predicted, national and state policies need to change. (Opinion)


Klar, Rebecca. “California offering $500 in coronavirus relief to undocumented immigrants.The Hill, April 15, 2020. The Hill reports that “California will distribute one-time cash payments of $500 to undocumented immigrants in the state in response to financial concerns arising amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Guardian News.You Clap For Me Now. The Guardian, April 16, 2020. In this video produced by The Guardian, residents and immigrants in Britain recite an antiracist poem which underscores the critical role of immigrant workers in fighting COVID-19. (Video)

Penaloza, Marisa. “How Immigrant Medical Professionals Are Helping To Fight The Coronavirus.NPR, April 16, 2020. Immigrant medical professionals, particularly the foreign-trained, often face scrutiny of their credentials from patients. Several states are tapping into the pool of immigrant medical professionals by relaxing the strict rules of licensing over the foreign-trained professionals. DACA recipients who are healthcare workers are afraid that their permits would be taken away if the Supreme court sides with Trump’s challenge to DACA.


Kahn, Carrie. “Immigrant Workers Struggle To Support Families Back Home.WBUR, April 16, 2020. Kahn reports that as immigrant workers from Mexico and other Latin American countries lose their jobs due to the pandemic, their families in the home countries are losing vital support from these immigrant workers.


Philpott, Tom. “Trump Moved to Ease the Farm Labor Shortage—While Also Trying to Cut Workers’ Pay.Mother Jones, April 16, 2020. Mother Jones reports that US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is working with new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to “see how to reduce wage rates for foreign guest workers on American farms, in order to help US farmers struggling during the coronavirus.”’


Campanile, Carl, Bernadette Hogan, Julia Marsh. “Cuomo won't commit to providing relief for illegal immigrants amid COVID-19.New York Post, April 16, 2020. When asked about California’s financial support for the state’s undocumented immigrants, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo decided not to provide state emergency fund to undocumented immigrants in New York. (Video: “Cuomo declines COVID relief to illegal immigrants.”)

Lussenhop, Jessica.Coronavirus at Smithfield pork plant: The untold story of America's biggest outbreak.BBC, April 17, 2020. This is an in-depth report on the outbreak of COVID-19 in a South Dakota meat-processing plant owned by Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the world. The workforce at Smithfield is dominated by immigrants and refugees who were put in high risk of infection. The Smithfield Foods infection cases account for 55% of South Dakota’s COVID-19 cases.

Villa, Lissandra. “We're Ignored Completely.' Amid the Pandemic, Undocumented Immigrants Are Essential But Exposed. TIME, April 17, 2020. Many undocumented immigrants are essential workers who pay millions of tax, but they are not eligible for the CARES Act and unemployment insurance. The Trump administration made mild policy changes that would allow undocumented immigrants to seek testing without worrying about deportation. Some argued that undocumented immigrants need to earn their citizenship by showing their contribution such as fighting on the frontline to contain the pandemic.


Samaha, Albert, and Katie J. M. Baker. “Smithfield Foods Is Blaming “Living Circumstances In Certain Cultures” For One Of America’s Largest COVID-19 Clusters.BuzzFeed, April 20, 2020. BuzzFeed reports that Smithfield Foods failed to implement safety measures to protect its workers from the virus. But when pressed, a company spokesperson blamed immigrants' “living circumstances in certain cultures" for the spread of the virus amongst workers. The statement echoed those. made by Governor Noem who said that “99%” of the spread of infections “wasn’t happening inside the facility” but inside workers’ homes, “because a lot of these folks who work at this plant live in the same community, the same buildings, sometimes in the same apartments."


American Immigration Council. “Factsheet on immigrants in the US, including workforce.” April 21, 2020. The report shows that “28.4 million immigrant workers comprised 17 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2018.” The largest shares of immigrant workers were in: farming, fishing and forestry (38%); facility cleaning and maintenance (31%); construction and extraction (25%); computer and math (24%); life, physical and social sciences (22%).


Crampton, Liz. “Farm Workers to be Exempt from Trump’s Immigration Ban.Politico, April 21, 2020. Following the president’s recent tweet saying that he would sign an executive order to temporarily ban immigration, Politico reported that the Agriculture Department is “working with the White House to publicly clarify that farm workers will be exempt.” In 2019, the Department of Labor certified more than 250,000 H-2A worker visas, which constituted a 10 percent increase from 2018.


Dickerson, Caitlin, and Miriam Jordan. “New Immigration Limits Cause Anxiety in Families and Businesses.The New York Times, April 22, 2020. The New York Times reports that “Trump’s move to suspend some green cards could make it harder for many immigrants to reunite with loved ones or work in the United States.”


Willingham, Zoe and Silva Mathema.Protecting Farmworkers From Coronavirus and Securing Food Supply. Center for American Progress, April 23, 2020. Farmworkers’ contributions to the nation’s food supply are “more critical than ever,” CAP reports. But they lack many of the necessary health and safety conditions to protect them, their coworkers, and families, and the food that all Americans depend upon.


Jumreornvong, Oranicha. “Trump's immigration cruelty vs. young doctors.New York Daily News, April 25, 2020. The author is an international medical student on an F-1 visa in the U.S. With Trump’s executive order on immigration and racist language, Jumreornvong no longer believes that immigrants are wanted by this country even if they work hard enough. (Opinion)

Aroy, Marissa. “The Strength of Many.” National Nurse United, April 26, 2020. A short film produced by National Nurse United about Filipino healthcare workers in the U.S. fighting COVID-19 and their historical experience and activism. (Video)

Purdy, Chase. “The stability of the global food system relies on immigrants.Quartz, April 26, 2020. Immigrant workers play an essential part in the global food supply chain and in particular the U.S. where more than 50% of its agricultural workforce is comprised of undocumented immigrants. Amidst the pandemic, undervaluing their work and overlooking their safety carries a huge risk of food shortages.


Crampton, Liz. “Court orders meat company to protect workers at Missouri plant.Politico, April 27, 2020. In Missouri, a judge ordered a Smithfield meatpacking plant to comply with federal safety guidelines after reports that workers (most of whom are immigrants) were not given masks or allowed to wash their hands.


Heffernan, Olivia. “Farmworkers Continue to Work with Little Protection.” Documented, April 27, 2020. A report on how safety guidelines for farm workers varies from other industries despite their designation as “essential” workers during the pandemic. Fears are being raised that demand for food is being put before workers’ safety.

Fordham, Evie. “Smithfield pushes back after claims it blamed immigrant workers for coronavirus cluster.Fox Business, April 27, 2020. The meatpacking plant pushes back against the criticism of its previous blame on immigrant workers. The CDC recommended that the plant implement a strict social distancing policy and find ways to overcome language barriers--more than 40 languages are spoken in the plant. On April 13, South Dakota’s governor Kristi Noem said that the cluster of COVID casein Smithfield was more related to their employees’ living environment rather than the plant facilities. (Video)

Jacobs, Jennifer, and Lydia Mulvany. “Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open in Move Unions Slam.Bloomberg, April 28, 2020. Citing the Defense Production Act, Trump signed an executive order that would force slaughterhouses to remain open. Whereas food companies have warned of the broken chain in food supply, labor unions opposed the executive order, emphasizing the unsafe working conditions and demanding boosts in pay. (Video: Coronavirus Threatens to Disrupt Global Food Supplies, Cause Starvation)

Torrens, Claudia. Immigrants Deliver Food,' Hope' to Workers Hit by Pandemic.” AP News, April 30, 2020. Immigrants are forming support networks to deliver food to those in the community who were hit hard by the pandemic’s economic impact but had no access to governmental support due to language and legal status barriers.

Peñaloza, Marisa.Undocumented Workers Demand Better, Safer Working Conditions During Pandemic.” NPR, May 1, 2020. With Latinx and Black immigrant workers being forced to choose between a paycheck and their health, undocumented workers held car caravans in several states demanding safe working conditions.

Torrens, Claudia, and Gisela Slaomon. “Immigrants, hard hit by economic fallout, adapt to new jobs.ABC News, May 2, 2020. As the pandemic has devastated immigrant workers, some have taken on new jobs such as sewing masks and delivering food.


Kerwin, Donald, Mike Nicolson, Daniela Alulema, and Robert Warren. Immigrants Dominate the Ranks of "Essential Workers" in the Global Pandemic.” Center for Migration Studies, May 2020. The report by CMS found that “immigrants in the labor force and age 16 and over, work at disproportionate rates in “essential critical infrastructure” jobs. In particular, 69 percent of all immigrants in the labor force and 74 percent of undocumented workers are essential infrastructure workers, compared to 65 percent of the native-born labor force.” (Report)


Cruz, Melissa. “As Coronavirus Fatalities Rise, Trump Sends Immigrant Meatpackers Back to Work.” American Immigration Council, May 1, 2020. Trump’s executive order may help the food supply in the country amid the pandemic, but it puts immigrant workers at risk in meatpacking plants, who already suffer from inadequate health care and worker protections.

Torrens, Claudia. “Immigrants Deliver Food,' Hope' to Workers Hit by Pandemic.AP News, April 30, 2020. Immigrants are forming support networks to deliver food to those in the community who were hit hard by the pandemic’s economic impact but had no access to governmental support due to language and legal status barriers.

Peñaloza, Marisa. “Undocumented Workers Demand Better, Safer Working Conditions During Pandemic.NPR, May 1, 2020. With Latinx and Black immigrant workers being forced to choose between a paycheck and their health, undocumented workers held car caravans in several states demanding safe working conditions.


Torrens, Claudia, and Gisela Slaomon. “Immigrants, hard hit by economic fallout, adapt to new jobs.ABC News, May 2, 2020. As the pandemic has devastated immigrant workers, some have taken on new jobs such as sewing masks and delivering food.


Kerwin, Donald, Mike Nicolson, Daniela Alulema, and Robert Warren. “Immigrants Dominate the Ranks of "Essential Workers" in the Global Pandemic.Center for Migration Studies, May 2020. The report by CMS found that “immigrants in the labor force and age 16 and over, work at disproportionate rates in “essential critical infrastructure” jobs. In particular, 69 percent of all immigrants in the labor force and 74 percent of undocumented workers are essential infrastructure workers, compared to 65 percent of the native-born labor force.” (Report)


Cruz, Melissa.As Coronavirus Fatalities Rise, Trump Sends Immigrant Meatpackers Back to Work. American Immigration Council, May 1, 2020. Trump’s executive order may help the food supply in the country amid the pandemic, but it puts immigrant workers at risk in meatpacking plants, who already suffer from inadequate health care and worker protections.

Faraz, Shahdabul. “President Trump, I Am Not Your Enemy. I Am a Doctor.New York Times, May 3, 2020. Faraz, an immigrant physician, wonders if contributions of immigrant workers like himself are appreciated given the increasingly antagonistic immigration policy amid the pandemic. Faraz wrote, “all I can say to Mr. Trump and his supporters is that I am not your enemy. I am one of many on the front lines fighting Covid-19 on your behalf.” (Opinion)

Robbins, Jeff.Minorities bear brunt of inequality, COVID and Hate.Boston Herald, May 4, 2020. The pandemic has exposed the deep inequalities confronting people of color in the U.S. The former US attorney wrote that “the communities carrying the nation on their backs happen to be the same ones suffering from the virus in disproportionate numbers.” (Opinion)


Perez, Rocio. “Op-Ed: My immigrant parents lost their jobs, but the CARES Act won't help mixed-status families.Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2020. Perez wrote that the pandemic has “disproportionately affects mixed-status families like mine, whose members have varying legal status. It has exacerbated our financial instability and food insecurity.” Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for the CARES Act, but California’s emergency fund for this group gave the author some hope. (Opinion)


Costa, Daniel and Ron Hira. “H-1B visas and prevailing wage levels.” Economic Policy Institute, May 4, 2020. A new report finds that the visa program allows U.S. employers to legally underpay H-1B workers relative to U.S. workers in similar occupations in the same region. (Report)


Gammage, Jeff. “With DACA down to the wire, immigrant health-care workers fight the pandemic as possible deportation looms.Philadelphia Inquirer, May 4, 2020. DACA recipients (and healthcare workers) worry about their immigration status even as they are on the frontlines of Pennsylvania’s efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak. (Video: Immigrant health-care workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic also worry about the upcoming DACA decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.)


Ibrahim, Hudda. “Coronavirus hits central Minnesota’s Somali-owned businesses hard.Sahan Journal, May 4, 2020. Ibrahim argues that with Governor Tim Walz’s order banning on-premises dining at restaurants, it is the right time for Somali business owners in Minnesota to modernize their operations such as keeping up online orderings and to expand their business beyond the ethnic niche so that they can better prepare for the post-pandemic challenges. (Opinion)


Budryk, Zack. “Bipartisan Senate bill would make more green cards available to doctors, nurses.The Hill, May 4, 2020. Lawmakers introduced the bipartisan Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act which would allocate 40,000 immigrant visas to doctors and nurses to support U.S. health care efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. (Video: Lawsuit filed against Trump over stimulus checks)


Leys, Tony. “Coronavirus infects more than 1,600 workers at four Iowa meatpacking plants.Des Moines Register, May 5, 2020. The Des Moines Register reports that “more than 1,600 workers at four Iowa meatpacking plants have been infected with the coronavirus.” In the state’s worse-hit Tyson pork processing plant, 58% of the workers who were tested had the virus. (Video)

Haedicke, Michael.To Understand the Danger of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Meatpacking Plants, Look at the industry’s History. The Conversation, May 6, 2020. The Conversation reports that “large meatpacking plants have become hotspots for coronavirus infection, along with jails and nursing homes. As of May 1, nearly 5,000 packing plant workers in 19 states had fallen ill, and 20 had died.” Poor and stressful working conditions and a lack of means for workers to advocate for safe work environments as a result of the industry’s historical development are the major reasons for the outbreaks in meatpacking plants. (Video: Inside Meat Processing Plant Linked To Nearly 900 Coronavirus Cases)

Corchado, Alfredo. “A Former Farmworker on American Hypocrisy.New York Times, May 6, 2020. Reflecting on his own experience growing up in a family of migrant farm workers from Mexico, Corchado elaborates on the essential roles of immigrant workers and their demonized representation. Corchado writes, “the best way to guarantee food security in the future is to legalize the current workers in order to keep them here, and to offer a pathway to legalization as an incentive for new agricultural workers to come.” (Opinion)

Narea, Nicole. “For immigrants without legal status, federal coronavirus relief is out of reach.Vox, May 6, 2020. Vox reports that many undocumented immigrants “have helped keep essential services running but have no financial safety net.” Their work is unrecognized in COVID-19 relief bills. Undocumented immigrants are particulalry vulnerable with inadequate health care insurance, and some of their U.S. citizens spouses are also left out in the stimulus checks.


Silva, Chantal Da. “Coronavirus Relief Fund Launched for Immigrant Workers 'Shut Out' of Stimulus Packages.Newsweek, May 7, 2020. Faith in Action, a national community organizing network has launched a relief fund along with donation-raising efforts to help immigrant workers who have been “shut out of” the federal stimulus package.


Yang, Stephanie. “New York’s Chinatown Businesses Struggle to Survive Coronavirus Shutdown.Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2020. Anti-Chinese xenophobia and New York’s ban on dining have dealt the neighborhood a double blow.


Huang, Josie. “A Fifth Of California's Nurses Are Filipino. Their Burden Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Fast Emerging.LAist, May 8, 2020. Filipinos make up almost 20% of California’s nurses, the highest proportion in the U.S., an outcome of colonialism in history and U.S. immigration policy. They are at the frontline of fighting COVID-19.


Gamboa, Suzanne.Latinos hardest hit by coronavirus job losses, with a staggering 18.9% unemployed. NBC News, May 8, 2020. The latest employment data shows that Latinos have been hit the hardest by the pandemic’s economic impact. Nearly 1 out 5 Latinos are unemployed, a rate higher than any other racial group. The plight is reminiscent of the Great Depression era when Latinos lost 66% of their household wealth.

The Associated Press.Some blame meatpacking workers, not plants, for virus spread. May 8, 2020. The Associated Press reports that “as coronavirus hot spots erupted at major U.S. meatpacking plants, experts criticized extremely tight working conditions that made the factories natural high risk contagion locations. But some Midwestern politicians have pointed the finger at the workers' living conditions, suggesting crowded homes bear some blame.” With MPR Interview with University of Minnesota Professor Jimmy Patiño who challenges these assumptions. (Audio)

Solis, Dianne and Imelda Garcia. “40 workers at Irving poultry plant test positive for COVID-19.Dallas Morning News, May 8, 2020. The Dallas Morning News reports that the Brakebush Bros poultry plant in Irving, Dallas has at least 40 workers who tested positive for COVID-19. In mid-march, the plant was closed for four days to strengthen its employee safety precautions.


Jose A. Del Real.In an immigrant community battling coronavirus, ‘essential’ means ‘vulnerable’. The Washington Post, May 9, 2020. An in-depth report on Chelsea, Mass, a community of immigrant service workers that supports Boston and its suburban areas. The city has the highest infection rate in the state; more than 2,200 in the city of 40,000 have tested positive and 124 have died.


NPR. “Immigrant Health Care Worker Fights The Coronavirus – And For His Asylum.” May 9, 2020. In this podcast episode, Michel Martin interviews two immigrant healthcare workers who fled wars in their home countries. Shafiq from Afghanistan, who obtained asylum, is leading a COVID-19 testing team. Hazem from Syria who also joined the fight against COVID-19, is still in the process of an asylum application.


Ana Swanson, David Yaffe-Bellany, and Michael Corkery. “Pork Chops vs. People: Battling Coronavirus in an Iowa Meat Plant.The New York Times, May 10, 2020. With Trump’s executive order and political pressure, meat processing plants are reopening. The article reports on the Tyson Foods pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, which was shut down temporarily in April. Despite new safety precautions in place, immigrant workers are still highly vulnerable to infection.


Duffy, Erin. “‘I’m Scared to Return’” Nebraska Meatpacking Workers and their Families Speak Out.Omaha World-Herald, May 10, 2020. Interviews with meatpacking workers in Omaha focus on immigrants from Central America, Myanmar, Somalia and South Sudan. The jobs do not require English and pay higher than minimum wage. But now workers face new risks as the virus spreads through meatpacking plants across the Midwest. Roughly 15% of Nebraska’s confirmed coronavirus cases and at least three deaths can be traced to meatpacking plants.

Selyukh, Alina. “Will Filing For Unemployment Hurt My Green Card? Legal Immigrants Are Afraid.NPR, May 11, 2020. Immigrants who are in the process of applying for permanent residence in the U.S. are afraid to apply for unemployment benefits that they are eligible for due to the new “public charge” rule by the Trump administration.

Wirtz, Ronard.COVID-19: Another strain for minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned firms. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, May 11, 2020. Minorities and disadvantaged business owners are confronted with unique challenges. The Minneapolis Fed’s survey shows that a very high share of business owners who are women, people of color or military veterans, has been negatively affected by the pandemic’s economic impact.


McQuarrie, Kyle. “The Average Salary of Essential Workers in 2020. Business.Org, May 11, 2020. The report shows that “nationwide, essential employees earn an average of 18.2% less than employees in other industries,” and “in every single state, the average salary for essential workers is far below the state’s average.”


Shearn, Ian T. “More Than Half of a South Jersey Farm’s Workers Infected With COVID-19, DOH Reports.New Jersey Spotlight, May 11, 2020. More than half of the seasonal labor force at a small farming community in Salem County, New Jersey, have become infected. Immigrants advocacy group calls for a massive testing program as the state is struggling to contain the outbreak in nursing homes and prisons.

Driver, Alice. “Arkansas poultry workers amid the coronavirus: ‘We’re not essential, we’re expendable’.Arkansas Times, May 11, 2020. At the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Arkansas, interviews with immigrant workers show that they are not offered sufficient PPEs. Nationwide, over 20 workers at food processing plants died of COVID-19 by the end of April, and many facilities were closed before Trump’s executive order for reopening on April 28. But in Arkansas, as of May 11, none of its 33 major meat-processing plants are closed.

Wallace, Kenyon and Jenna Moon. “Toronto scientists dug into the connection between race, income, housing and COVID-19. What they found was ‘alarming.’The Star, May 12, 2020. A new study shows that COVID-19 patients in Ontario “are more likely to live in neighborhoods characterized by precarious housing, lower income status and a greater concentration of immigrants and visible minorities.”


Crary, David.As Trump urges reopening, thousands getting sick on the job. Star Tribune, May 12, 2020. An analysis by the Associated Press shows that “thousands of people are getting sick from COVID-19 on the job.” As Trump urges reopening, AP’s data shows that “of the 15 U.S. counties with the highest per-capita infection rates between April 28 and May 5, all are homes to meatpacking and poultry-processing plants or state prisons.”


Evich, Bottemiller, Helena and Liz Crampton. “Trump deems farmworkers 'essential' but not safety rules for them. That could threaten the food supply.Politico, May 12, 2020. As the harvest season approaches, many states and business leaders have been scrambling to protect farmworkers. Although the Trump administration deems millions of farmworkers as “essential workers,” it is doing little to keep them safe. (Video: “The Story Behind Farmworkers Facing Coronavirus”)


Garnham, Juan Pablo, “Language Barriers, Absence Of Bank Loans Leave Latino Small-Business Owners Struggling.LatinoUSA, May 12, 2020. In Texas, there are more than 700,0000 Latino-owned businesses. For Latino business owners, language barriers and lack of access to bank loans are exacerbating the pandemic’s impact on the community.


Camarota, Steven A. “Now Is Not the Time to Increase Immigrant Labor.National Review, May 12, 2020. Camarota, the director of the conservative think tank Center for Immigration Studies, argues that Trump can do more than just issuing the proclamation on April 22 that “only slightly reduced the flow of foreign workers in the country.” He contends that if “Americans think that immigration should be designed to benefit the American people...the numbers allowed into the country during the current economic crisis should be curtailed.”


Ferguson, Ellyn. “Federal agency gives meatpackers room to hire H-2B workers.Roll Call, May 13, 2020. A new rule set to last through May 15, 2023, allows meat and poultry companies to retain foreign workers. It specifically allows them to rehire current H-2B employees whose work contracts or three-year visas are expiring and who otherwise would have to return to their home countries.


Jordan, Miriam. “They Lost Their Jobs. Now They May Have to Leave the US.The New York Times, May 13, 2020. The New York Times reports that “the Trump administration is unlikely to allow laid-off holders of H-1B and other work visas to extend their stay in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.” For H-1B visa workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic, they are only allowed a routine 60-day grace period to switch jobs. Amidst the pandemic's many hiring freezes, immigrant workers who lost their jobs are confronted with a new legal limbo.


Constante, Agnes. “Fear of deportation heightened for immigrant doctors on H-1B visas amid pandemic.NBC News, May 14, 2020. NBC News reports that “immigrant physicians account for nearly a quarter of all licensed physicians in the U.S. Their disabilities or deaths would make any dependent family members subject to removal.”


Silva, Chatal Da. “Pelosi's HEROES Act Would Protect Immigrant Health Workers on the Frontline of Coronavirus Pandemic From Deportation.Newsweek, May 14, 2020. A $3 trillion COVID-19 relief package introduced by House Speaker Pelosi would allow “expedited green cards” and speed up the processing of temporary work visas for physicians fighting on the frontline against the pandemic. The bill would also allow immigrants to participate in naturalization ceremonies remotely and undocumented immigrants who pay tax to receive government stimulus checks. (Video)


Rosenberg, Mica. “Infected, 150 Miles Apart.Reuters, May 14, 2020. A profile of an immigrant couple’s life as they negotiate virus infections - one from their job at a meat processing plant and another in an ICE detention facility - showing how immigrants are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.


Batalova, Jeanne.Immigrant Health-Care Workers in the United States. Migration Policy Institute, May 14, 2020. The report offers a demographic and socioeconomic profile of foreign-born healthcare workers in the U.S. (Report)


American Immigration Council.Essential Workers Are at the Heart of Diversifying Working-Class America. May 15, 2020. Although it is tempting to associate American working class with the “white male manufacturing archetype,” the article shows the working class today is “largely made up of immigrants, women, and people of color.”

Center for Immigration Studies.Hire American. May 15, 2020. In this panel discussion, the CIS offered 20 specific actions which would cut immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas and OPTs to help preserve jobs for Americans. (Video)

Lebovits, Hannah.Organizing Labor in a Pandemic. Belt Magazine, May 15, 2020. The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of low-wage workers. It also drew attention to and energy around labor rights and organizing. The pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities for building solidarity to protect workers’ safety and advocate for their rights.


Narea, Nicole. “Immigrants were largely overlooked in the US's coronavirus response. The latest relief bill aims to fix that. Vox, May 16, 2020. The article elaborates on five ways in which the newly introduced bill known as the HEROES Act would benefit immigrants impacted by the pandemic.


Potts, Hailey Branson, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Matt Stiles, and Andrew J. Campa.The price of being ‘essential’: Latino service workers bear brunt of coronavirus. LA Times, May 17, 2020. A profile of the low-paid immigrant workers (cleaners, food service workers, agricultural workers, meat processors) who have been deemed “essential” but remain at risk for becoming infected by COVID-19 and dying at disproportionately high rates.


Martin, Eric.Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on the Future of U.S. Immigrant Labor. Bloomberg, May 17, 2020. Bloomberg reports that “pandemic has hit service industry workers especially hard” even with the reopening of the industry. The decreases in remittances also suggest that some immigrant workers are returning home. Undocumented immigrants face a double challenge of unemployment and lack of social safety-net, and their number is likely to tumble according to Andrew Selee, president of the D.C.-based think-tank Migration Policy Institute.


Narea, Nicole. “The House's latest coronavirus relief bill gives stimulus payments to unauthorized immigrants.Vox, May 16, 2020. House Republicans are against the HEROES Act’s provision that would offer immigrant stimulus payments. But even though the bill passed the House, it is unlikely to survive a vote in the Senate. “Another round of checks for illegal immigrants. Can you believe it?” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Kaur, Harmeet. “California is now offering support to undocumented immigrants, in the first relief fund of its kind.CNN, May 18, 2020. Starting from May 18, undocumented immigrants in California can apply for financial support thanks to the $125 million coronavirus disaster relief fund. The one-time benefit will offer $500 to each adult with a cap of $1000 per household. $75 million of the package comes from state donations and $50 million from private philanthropists.


Regan, Sheila.Despite the risks, essential retail workers often have little option but going to work. Sahan Journal, May 18, 2020. The Sahan Journal reports that “dangers for people of color and immigrants in the workforce may increase as [Minnesota’s] Gov. Walz eases stay-at-home order.”


Richwine, Jason. “Importing Doctors Is Not Necessary.Center for Immigration Studies, May 19, 2020. Richwine does not believe that the U.S. would have a shortage of doctors in the absence of past immigration. He argues that the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (S 3599) which would give permanent residency to immigrant doctors and nurses, is “a solution in search of a problem...because the spike in demand for healthcare workers has not materialized. On the contrary, demand appears to have fallen.” (Video)


Sands, Geneva. “Immigration agency seeks bailout, plans to charge more for visa applications.CNN, May 20, 2020. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has requested $1.2 billion from Congress to compensate for its lost revenues during the pandemic and proposed a 10% surcharge of application fees. The agency also temporarily amended visa requirements to allow certain seasonal workers who are “essential to the U.S. supply chain” to remain in the country.

Feshir, Riham. “Unemployment claims up — way up — among Asian Minnesotans.Sahan Journal, May 20, 2020. Little Mekong, a business area in St. Paul where southeast Asian businesses and restaurants concentrate, is hit especially hard by unemployment related to the pandemic. Black Minnesotans and Native Americans have suffered job loss the most since the pandemic, and Asian Americans are seeing the fastest growth of unemployment claims in the state.

Brown, Keri.570 Workers Test Positive For Coronavirus At North Carolina Poultry Plant. NPR, May 21, 2020. The Tyson Foods chicken processing facility in North Carolina shut down parts of its facilities for deep cleaning and quarantines, but still, 570 were tested positive among 2,200 workers who were tested. Labor advocates have criticized the industry as not doing enough to protect workers.


Carrasco, Barbara. “No Shame? The Hypocritical Treatment of Essential Workers.” Immigration Prof Blog, May 21, 2020. Carrasco reveals the contradiction that the U.S. criminalizes immigrants on the one hand, but it does not hesitate to call on immigrants to sacrifice their safety and champion them as heroes on the other.


Semotiuk, Andy J. “Opponents Say Expansion Of US Immigrant Ban Should Not Include Skilled Workers.Forbes, May 22, 2020. Compete America, a coalition of American employers, urged Trump to continue to allow skilled workers to immigrate to the U.S. in a letter signed by over 300 U.S. companies and immigrant groups. It is an attempt to protect the nonimmigrant skilled worker section from being added to Trump’s April 22 proclamation that suspended visas for certain immigrants.


Jabour, Anya. “Immigrant workers have borne the brunt of Covid-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants.Washington Post, May 23, 2020. The op-ed offers a historical account of the meatpacking industry, writing that "foreign-born workers struggled to survive a toxic stew of inadequate workplace protections, unwelcoming immigration policies and unscrupulous employment practices — often without the ability to speak or write English." (Opinion)

Mark, Michelle and Jacqueline Baylon. “Unauthorized immigrants who work on America's farms have been deemed 'essential,' but they say they feel expendable.” Business Insider, May 24, 2020. Undocumented agricultural workers are ineligible for most federal assistance given to Americans. "I don't feel 'essential,' as they say, because we don't have the same privileges," said one worker. (Video)

Ortúzar, Diego and Ángela Vergara,Working During COVID-19: Occupational Hazards and Workers’ Right to a Safe Workplace.The Abusable Past, May 25, 2020. Two scholars suggest that meatpacking and healthcare, as well as many other industries with high proportions of immigrant workers, are “high-risk working conditions” during COVID-19. These occupational hazards require new demands for safer working conditions, the authors argue. From The Abusable Past, a digital platform of the Radical History Review.


Hughlett, Mike and Adam Belz.Coronavirus hit meat plants just as workers were being asked to speed up. Star Tribune, May 25, 2020. Meat processors, many of whom are immigrants and refugees, were already known to suffer from work-related injuries before the pandemic. Now with increased risk of infection and USDA rules that allow chicken processing plants to increase production speeds by 25%, these labor conditions are being scrutinized, according to the Star Tribune.

Groves, Stephen and Sophia Tareen.Worker shortage concerns loom in immigrant-heavy meatpacking. ABC News, May 26, 2020. The meat and poultry industry has historically relied upon immigrant and refugee workers, ABC News reports. But as workers become infected and plants close, the industry fears possible labor losses that would lead to beef, poultry, and chicken shortages. Link to Good Morning America story on food supply fears.

Ricciulli, Valeria. “NYC immigrants fear losing their homes during the pandemic.Curbed New York, May 27, 2020. The coronavirus has disproportionately affected communities of color in New York, with much higher death rates, job loss, and unable to pay rent. Undocumented workers, many of whom are considered essential workers, face these challenges without any government assistance and are vulnerable to harassment by landlords.


Botts, Jackie. “Coronavirus pandemic steals most from immigrant working women.Cal Matters, May 26, 2020. Reporting on a recent study published by UC Merced Community and Labor Center researchers found that immigrant women have experienced the most devastating job losses and have no safety net.


Home Health Care News. New Immigration Rules Could Harm Home-Based Care Workforce. May 25, 2020. Perspectives from the home health care industry, which has generally been very supportive of “immigration pathways,” on the president’s new immigration systems. “Whenever we make it more difficult for immigrants to live and work in this country, we’re threatening the ability of long-term care employers to have enough workers to support their clients and their residents,” explained one industry official.


Associated Press.Nonprofit estimates two-thirds of Nebraska meatpackers are immigrants; worker shortage looms in industry. AP, May 26, 2020. The nonprofit Fiscal Policy Institute reports that the meatpacking industry has the fifth-highest concentration of refugee workers. Reporting from Sioux Falls, N.D.

Center for Migration Studies, "Immigrant Essential Workers, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Community Responses." May 28, 2020. The webinar explored “the importance of immigrants to local communities and will feature inclusive state and local responses to immigrant families and undocumented workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Webinar)

Peters, Joey.In healthcare work, African immigrants feel brunt of COVID-19. Sahan Journal, May 27, 2020. Reporting on African immigrant nurses who are on the frontlines of long-term care centers in the Twin Cities.


Arthur, Andrew R.Immigration and Labor, One and Inseparable Lessons from Samuel Gompers, Barbara Jordan, and Steven Camarota. Center for Immigration Studies, May 29, 2020. In this blog entry, Arthur argues that immigration is “fundamentally a labor issue” and is in support of immigration restrictions, including those that the president has implemented “in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.”


Johnson, Marty. “Immigrant doctors prepare for family's deportation if they die of coronavirus.The Hill, May 28, 2020. There are 127,000 immigrant physicians serving in the United States, making up nearly a quarter of all licensed physicians in the country. The majority come from India, the Philippines, Mexico, Pakistan and the Caribbean. They are essential workers during the pandemic, but as this story makes clear, if they are unable to work or die, their families would immediately lose their legal immigration status and become subject to deportation.


Gold, Russell and Michelle Hackman. “Covid-19 Spreads Deportation Fears Among Immigrant Doctors in US.Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2020. A profile of immigrant doctors who have found themselves vulnerable to deportation.


Dreier, Hannah. “Tatiana’s Luck.Washington Post, June 1, 2020. A profile of an immigrant from Columbia who has struggled during the pandemic; a window into how Latinx communities have been disproportionately losing their health, livelihoods and immigration status.


Barros, Aline. “Efforts Launched to Help Immigrants Ineligible for US Federal COVID-19 Assistance.Voice of America, June 4, 2020. A report on state efforts to provide economic assistance to undocumented immigrants. Under federal stimulus packages enacted to combat the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been ineligible for benefits.


Yeung, Bernice. “She Paid Thousands for a Visa to Work in the U.S. Then She Got Laid Off. Now, She’s Trapped.ProPublica, June 4, 2020. ProPublica reports on what happened to thousands of workers in the U.S. with J-1 visas who were laid off as the coronavirus shut down the economy.


Constante, Agnes. “Two-thirds of Asian American health, food workers fighting COVID-19 are immigrants, report says.NBC News, June 8, 2020. According to research by New American Economy, “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are immigrants are critical in supporting essential industries during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in the health care and food supply industries, where more than two-thirds of AAPIs helping fight the virus are immigrants.” Also see the related report Immigration and Covid-19.

Capps, Randy Jeanne Batalova, and Julia Gelatt. “COVID-19 and Unemployment: Assessing the Early Fallout for Immigrants and Other U.S. Workers.Migration Policy Institute, June 2020. A fact sheet analyzing unemployment rates for immigrants and other U.S. workers before and since the COVID-19 pandemic began. One finding: In April 2020, Latina immigrants had the highest jobless rate of all racial and ethnic groups: 22 percent. Link to an interactive data tool.

Telford, Taylor. “The meat industry is trying to get back to normal. But workers are still getting sick — and shortages may get worse.Washington Post, June 8, 2020. A report on the growing number of coronavirus cases tied to meat processing in the U.S., including 7,000 at Tyson Foods alone.


Gomez, Melissa. “‘We can’t prevent it’: Farmworkers paid low wages fear coronavirus spread in crowded housing.LA Times, June 9, 2020. An investigation into the rise of COVID-19 in Salinas Valley, the “salad bowl of the world,” where agricultural workers make up more than a third of confirmed cases, and Latinos make up nearly 80% of them.


Krogstad, Jens Manuel, Mark Hugo Lopez, and Jeffery S. Passel. “A Majority of Americans Say Immigrants Mostly Fill Jobs U.S. Citizens Do Not Want. Pew Research Center, June 10, 2020. The Pew Research Center reports that more than three quarters of Americans think that undocumented immigrants take jobs U.S. citizens do not want. But the poll did find divisions between Democrats and Republicans. While more than 87% of Democrats believe undocumented immigrants take jobs U.S. citizens do not want, 66% of Republicans did.


Gomez Licon, Adriana. “Florida Migrant Towns Become Coronavrius Hot Spots in US.AP, June 12, 2020. The AP reports on the small remote town of Immokalee, Florida where many migrant workers live while they pick tomatoes. Infections are increasing at a rate much higher there than in cities like Orlando and Miami.


Velarde, Luis. “Essential Workers: The visa program keeping Americans fed.Washington Post, June 18, 2020. This Washington Post story and video examine how immigrant farmworkers have been deemed “essential” during the pandemic and economic slowdown, but remain some of the most vulnerable communities in the U.S. They lack adequate healthcare and face tough working conditions. H-2A workers here as temporary agricultural workers are especially vulnerable as their visas are tied to their employers.


Krikorian, Mark. “Trump Expands the Foreign-Worker Ban. Center for Immigration Studies, June 23, 2020. In this blog entry, Krikorian praises the recent Trump administration proclamation suspending entry of immigrants. “Monday’s announcement was a real win,” Krikorian writes. (Video of the CIS panel on the proclamation)


Yoon-Hendricks, Alexandra, Tony Bizjak, and Phillip Reese. “Many California Latinos are essential workers – and they’re getting COVID-19 at alarming rates.Sacramento Bee, June 24, 2020. Latinos, many of whom are in “essential” industries, are falling ill to coronavirus at a higher rate than any other ethnic group. In Sacramento, efforts to increase public health information are underway.


Small, Matt. “Coronavirus crisis amplified in Northern Va.'s immigrant communities.WTOP News, June 25, 2020. Local government officials and officials from immigrant-serving organizations gathered to discuss the pandemic’s effect on the sectors of the economy dominated by immigrant labor. Links to virtual panels hosted by Liberty’s Promise, an immigrant-serving organization.


Srikanth, Anagha. “Black immigrant domestic workers and the 'perfect storm' of the coronavirus pandemic.The Hill, June 26, 2020. A new survey was conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) Black Worker Initiative and the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s (NDWA) which explores the economic, health, and social impact of the virus on Black immigrant domestic workers. Many have lost their jobs and are at risk of eviction. They lack health insurance, and those without documentation are fearful of seeking insurance.

Yi, Karen. “Immigrant Warehouse Workers Are Crammed In Vans Despite Virus Danger.NPR, June 26, 2020. An investigative report on the temporary workers that provide labor in the nation’s warehouses. Many, who are undocumented immigrants, rely on crowded van transportation despite the risk of infection. (Audio)

Hubler, Shawn, Thomas Fuller, Anjali Singhvi, and Juliette Love. “Many Latinos Couldn’t Stay Home. Now Virus Cases Are Soaring in Their Communities.New York Times, June 26, 2020. As infections among Latinos far outpace the rest of the nation, the latest data reveal a “grim demographic theme” showing how Latinos makeup a large proportion of the nation’s essential workforce during the epidemic, the Times reports.


Blevins, Jason. “Struggling ski resort industry frets over Trump's ban on immigrant worker visas.Vail Daily News, June 29, 2020. The ski resort industry, which has relied upon visa workers, especially J-1s, is reeling from the latest proclamation from the Trump administration which extended a ban on visas for immigrant workers through the end of the year.


Kim, E. Tammy.When You are Paid 13 Hours for a 24-Hour Shift. New York Times, June 30, 2020. A contributing opinion writer shares findings from interviews with home health aides and nursing assistants. "Covid-19 has shown that America must reorder its notion of medicine, by recognizing that those who tend to the elderly and people with disabilities are as indispensable as nurses and doctors,” Kim writes. The patchwork that we call a system is not merely insufficient; it is proving fatal to workers and patients alike.” (Opinion)


Boodman, Eric. “In the Covid-19 death of a hospital food worker, a microcosm of the pandemic.Stat News, June 30, 2020. Part of a series of reports from hospitals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, this article profiles how discrimination factors into the infection risk faced by one immigrant hospital worker.

King, Noel. "Why COVID-19 Disproportionately Impacts Latino Communities." NPR, July 1, 2020. NPR's Noel King talks with Daniel López-Cevallo from Oregon State University about the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Latinx communities in the U.S. (Audio)

Weinraub, Mark and Julie Ingwersen. US farmers scramble for help as COVID-19 scuttles immigrant workforce.” Reuters, July 3, 2020. The pandemic delayed the arrival of the usual seasonal immigrants farmers rely upon to help harvest U.S. wheat.

Hirsi, Ibrahim. “Immigrant retailers reopened shops in neighborhood malls. Customers haven't returned.Sahan Journal, July 3, 2020. Based on interviews and data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Hirsi finds that immigrant-owned small businesses struggle even after reopening recently.

McGill, Kevin. “Immigrant advocates say US policy change endangers workers.Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 7, 2020. A new lawsuit filed by the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice claims that a new federal rule change made by the U.S. Department of Labor will make foreign workers fearful of reporting workplace abuses or human trafficking for fear of being deported.


Gamboa, Suzanne. “Coronavirus reported in over half of Latino meat, poultry workers in 21 states, CDC says.NBC, July 8, 2020. Latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Latinx workers at meat and chicken processing plants account for 56 % of nearly 10,000 cases reported in 21 states.


Vega, Priscella,Ventura County sees increase in number of positive coronavirus cases among farmworkers.LA Times, July 15, 2020. Officials reported that farm workers account for 7% of the nearly 5,000 positive coronavirus cases in Ventura County after an outbreak at a farmworkers housing complex.


Lai, Stephanie and Rong-gong Lin II. “California fails to protect Latino workers as coronavirus ravages communities of color.LA Times, July 15, 2020. Recent statistics show the disproportionate impact of the virus on Latinx communities in the state: Latinos make up nearly 39% of the state’s population, but 55% of its COVID-19 cases. And the L.A. County Department of Public Health reports that Latino residents are more than twice as likely as white residents to contract the virus.


Associated Press.Vulnerable U.S. Latino communities hit hard by coronavirus. LA Times, July 15, 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports that “the virus has amplified the inequalities that many Latinos endure, including jobs that expose them to others, tight living conditions, lack of health insurance, mistrust of the medical system and a greater incidence of preexisting health conditions like diabetes. And many Latinos don’t have the luxury of sheltering at home.”


The Daily.One Meat Plant, One Thousand Infections. New York Times, July 15, 2020. The New York Times podcast talks with Caitlin Dickerson, who covers immigration for the Times, and Achut Deng, a Sudanese refugee who works for Smithfield pork factory in Sioux Falls, ND to explore what happened at Smithfield, site of one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the United States. (Podcast)


Anderson, Stuart. “Instacart Immigrant Founder Helps Americans During The Pandemic.Forbes, July 17, 2020. A profile of Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta. The company is hiring 300,000 additional workers at a time when its shopping services have become a lifeline for many American consumers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lind, Dara. “Hospitals are Suddenly Short of Young Doctors - Because of Trump’s Visa Ban.ProPublica, July 17, 2020. Some hospitals across the U.S. are acutely short-staffed because of the president’s June 22nd proclamation barring the entry of most immigrants on work visas. The policy is “ill-timed” and inconsistently implemented, Lind writes.

Ali, Shirin and Anabel Mendoza. “COVID-19 posing difficult choices for Wisconsin's immigrant workers.Madison.com, July 19, 2020. An exploration of how immigrant workers are amongst the most vulnerable workers who risk their lives to do their jobs in manufacturing, health care, food services and agricultural industries, often without safety measures and healthcare.


Tuirán, Rosa and Nick Roberts. “Farmworkers are Among Those at Highest Risk for COVID-19, Studies Show.PBS Frontline, July 21, 2020. PBS reports on how farmworkers’ working and living conditions make it “nearly impossible to maintain physical distance from others” and are at risk of higher rates of infection than other workers. As of July 1, the prevalence of COVID-19 for agricultural workers was 1,410 positive cases out of 100,000, while the rate for workers in all other industries was 455 cases per 100,000 — a difference of almost 1,000 cases.

PBS. "COVID’S Hidden Toll." Frontline Documentary, July 21, 2020. These documentaries examine how the COVID crisis has hit vulnerable immigrants and undocumented workers, including farm and meat-packing workers who lack necessary health and safety protections. (Video)

Wong, Tiffany.Little noticed, Filipino Americans are dying of COVID-19 at an alarming rate. Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2020. Data compiled by the Times show that while Filipino Americans account for about one-quarter of the Asian Americans in California, they are at least 35% of the COVID-19 deaths in the state’s Asian population.

Champlin, Caroline. “Asian Americans Face Disproportionate Economic Insecurity Amid Pandemic, And Racism Plays A Role.LAist, July 24, 2020. UCLA economist Paul Ong’s research shows that Asians and whites started out on similar financial ground before the pandemic, but Asian American unemployment jumped ahead by 5% between February and April. In service sections such as hair salons, Asians suffered 20% more unemployment than whites did. In California, Asian Americans with a high school education filed almost 50% more unemployment than whites with the same educational attainment. Trump’s use of “China virus” affected people’s views of Asians. “That also seemed to translate into an informal boycott of Asian restaurants — Chinese restaurants in particular.”


Lucas, Amelia. “Advocates Push For Farmworker Protections As Coronavirus Cases Surge.CNBC, July 26, 2020. As farmworkers contract COVID-19 across the country , labor advocates say that their employers are not doing enough to keep them safe. “H-2A visas for temporary agriculture workers require that employers provide housing,” CNBC explains, “which typically resemble barracks, a style of living that makes it difficult to social distance. Some farms are also refusing to give workers the required sick pay.”


Katz, Matt. “Isolated In Their New Country, Refugees Are Sewing — And Innovating — Covid-19 Masks.Gothamist, July 27, 2020. Newly arrived refugees were having trouble finding jobs during the pandemic, but then an organization gave them sewing machines and they began making masks.


Lin, Rong-Gong II, Melody Gutierrez, and Anita Chabria. “Coronavirus ravages California’s Central Valley, following a cruel and familiar path.Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2020. Farmworkers are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, with much higher infection rates than the general public. Close living quarters, shared transportation to job sites, and little access to healthcare are some of the reasons, revealing how the virus spread underscore deep inequities of the coronavirus in California, according to public health officials and medical experts.


Cimini, Kate. “Monterey County Farmworkers Face Three Times Higher Risk of COVID-19 than other workers.The Californian, July 28, 2020. Farmworkers in Monterey County are three times more likely to catch COVID-19 than workers in any other industry, reports the California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) found. “A further survey showed lack of documentation, inadequate protection by employers and technological illiteracy combine to make farmworkers far more vulnerable to the disease caused by the virus than other county residents” according to surveyors and advocates.

Campbell, Monica. “Farmworkers are getting coronavirus. They face retaliation for demanding safe conditions.Public Radio International, July 29, 2020. Reporter Campbell reveals how farm workers were fired after protesting unsafe work conditions that led to high infection rates in the workforce at Primex Farms in Wasco, CA. (Audio)

Khimm, Suzy and Daniella Silva. “Lured to America Then Trapped.NBC News, July 29, 2020. Recruited to work in the U.S., temporary H-2A workers are now trapped in the country, with nearly 5,000 workers cheated out of their wages, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Large groups in CA, WA, MI have also been infected with COVID-19.


Dooling, Shannon. “New Survey Shows The Pandemic's Toll On Immigrant Households Throughout Mass.” WBUR, July 31, 2020. A new survey led by The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy coalition (MIRA) surveyed immigrant households in MA and found that many are struggling with unemployment (75%) as well as food insecurity (59%) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 78% of households with at least one undocumented family member don’t have enough food to eat.


Perez, Maria. “Please do something’: As COVID-19 swept through Wisconsin food plants, companies, government failed to protect workers.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 31, 2020. An investigation reports that at least 1,500 workers at meatpacking and food processing plants in Milwaukee have tested positive for COVID-19 and 8 have died, mirroring high infection rates among migrant workforces nationally in these industries. In Milwaukee, companies took weeks to implement protective measures and government agencies tasked with overseeing workplace conditions failed to act.