Apr 3, 2020 - Health
Immigrants on the front lines in the coronavirus fight
New data provided to Axios spells out just how outsized a role immigrants play on the high- and low-skilled ends of the economy keeping Americans alive and fed during the coronavirus crisis.
By the numbers: Immigrants make up an estimated 17% of the overall U.S. workforce. But the analysis by New American Economy (NAE) shows they're more than one in four doctors, nearly half the nation's taxi drivers and chauffeurs and a clear majority of farm workers.
- Reporting to work in hospitals, restaurant kitchens, cabs or the fields — for jobs deemed "essential" by the government — many documented and undocumented workers are putting themselves at higher risk of COVID-19 infections.
Be smart: The share of immigrants in some health care roles are higher in states that have been hit hardest by the virus.
- More than a third of California nurses are immigrants, as well as 29% of nurses in New York and New Jersey, according to NAE data.
Between the lines: A large percentage of farm workers, who help maintain food supplies, are unauthorized immigrants, as the New York Times reported.
- Immigrants make up a small percentage of delivery workers nationwide, but one-third of delivery workers in New York are unauthorized immigrants, NAE director of quantitative research Andrew Lim told Axios.
- The $2 trillion aid package does not include assistance for unauthorized immigrants.