The COVID-19 pandemic is giving people a better understanding of the work health care workers do to keep the public safe. Their responsibilities have life and death consequences and adding a pandemic on top of that exacerbates the already demanding nature of the job. Now, add an immigration crisis and crackdown.
Immigrant health care workers are getting some special love with #ImmigrantHealthHeroes.
Immigrants make up a large portion of the health care industry. According to the New American Economy, 16.4 percent, or 2.8 million, of health care workers are foreign-born people. In New York, the hardest-hit state in the U.S., 34.3 percent of health care workers are foreign-born people. For New Jersey, 30.6 percent of their health care workers are foreign-born and 31.6 percent of health care workers in California are foreign-born people.
The social media movement is giving people a chance to learn more about what our health care workers are dealing with.
“I’ve been volunteering with our free clinic, which is called East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership,” medical student Denisse Rojas told Senator Chuc Schumer. “We serve uninsured patients in East Harlem so folks who unfortunately otherwise may not be able to see a doctor. Because of COVID, we’ve been doing a lot of our appointments over telehealth. The common medical conditions include diabetes and hypertension.”
Communities of color are some of the hardest-hit places in the country. Chicago has seen a surge in cases in the Latino community while the rest of the city is experiencing a decrease in cases. Diabetes is one disease that COVID-19 exacerbates leading to the death of a positive patient.
More than 202,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are joined in battle on the front lines against COVID-19.
DACA recipients, who are waiting for the Supreme Court to decide the fate of the program, make up more than 202,000 health care workers. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the case at any moment. Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients are anxiously awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court while doing their part to combat the health pandemic.
The hashtag is bringing attention to Senate Bill 386, which wants to prevent most immigrants from getting residency through employment.
SB 386 is seeking to limit immigration over the next 10 years by no longer allowing immigrants to earn residency and green cards through employment. Indian and Chinese nationals would be exempt meaning they would still be allowed to earn a green card through employment. Currently, the law states that of 140,000 green cards issued through employment a year, there is a cap of 7 percent of the green cards per country. According to the State Department, India, China, and the Phillippines have the longest application lines with India’s stretching for more than half a century.
SB 386 would allow for more people from certain countries to obtain green cards through employment. To be exact, the bill would eliminate the 7 percent limit entirely. However, the language excludes all but two countries on the planet. This would mean that cities like Miami that rely heavily on employing people from Latin America would suffer and struggle to compete globally.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, let’s honor and show love to all of the health care workers fighting the good fight to keep us safe.
Thank you to all of the health care workers out there. Thank you for keeping us safe and fighting to protect us.
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