‘We’re Ignored Completely.’ Amid the Pandemic, Undocumented Immigrants Are Essential But Exposed

TIME magazine, April 2020.

Maria is one of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., many of whom are now working the essential jobs the nation is relying on—in apple orchards and grocery stores, food processing plants and hospitals. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that 6 million immigrant workers (a figure that does not take into account legal status) are in jobs on the front lines of coronavirus response, while another 6 million are in industries hardest hit by the pandemic. In normal times, undocumented labor is a pillar of the U.S. economy. In these extraordinary times, immigrant advocates say lawmakers must recognize the contributions that essential undocumented workers are making.