Marcelo Suárez-Orozco: Immigrants are Essential to Pandemic Economy, Society

Wasserman Dean shines a light on COVID-19's impact on immigration in article for Rational Middle.

Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco has recently published an article for Rational Middle on a presidential order that bars immigrants from receiving green cards for the next 60 days in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. In his commentary, Suárez-Orozco, who co-directs the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at UCLA, points out that “… how we deal with immigrants in this crisis could define our economic recovery and even the future of our nation.”

“Our existential battle against COVID-19 reveals just how immigrants matter in sectors of the U.S. labor market with significant labor shortages including health care,” writes Suárez-Orozco. “Six million immigrants are COVID-19 freedom fighters — the doctors, nurses and first responders at the frontlines of battle. Among first responders almost 30,000 are immigrants protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. They have been joined by tens of thousands of other DACA-eligible residents who, during the crisis, have put their shoulders to the wheel in our warehouses, staffed our grocery stores and provided other essential services so the rest of us could hunker down to limit the virus’ spread.

“Far from threatening American jobs, immigrants are working hard to protect them. Using the pandemic as an excuse to further anti-immigrant policies ignores both our history and our destiny,” notes Suárez-Orozco.     

To read “History and Destiny: Immigrants’ Vital Role in the Pandemic,” by Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, visit this link.