People living in the United States without official approval of the U.S. government are at extreme risk of coronavirus infection, more than many others. Why? Those living in detention centers are in crowded quarters with inadequate health resources even without the pandemic. Others who are undocumented already live in fear of going to hospitals and other health care facilities for emergencies, not to mention routine care, because ICE might find them there and deport them. Now they are under more stress about health care than ever.
ICE made a statement in Los Angeles on March 16 that they wouldn’t grab people at health facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. But ICE has lied time and again about their strategies to catch undocumented people and deport them. Why should we trust them now?
Of course, the government won’t give those $1,200 cash payments to undocumented people. But what about immigrant families with some legal and some undocumented? According to the National Immigration Law Center, this will exclude about 80 percent of immigrant families in the U.S. from getting the cash payments.
People are people. And people get the coronavirus. The virus doesn’t discriminate based on where you were born. But the U.S. government does. And that makes everyone more vulnerable.