Report: Nearly Two-Thirds of Undocumented Immigrants are Essential Employees

Posted on 12/17/20

The undocumented immigrant community has made a profound impact on the cultural diversity of our nation for centuries. Their contributions have extended much further into our recovery efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. From volunteering in our local hospitals, donating to organizations in need, and being on the frontlines of vaccine research, immigrants have modeled their commitment to the American dream. A pro-immigration reform group, FWD.US recently released a study on 2019 Census data that confirmed nearly 69% of undocumented immigrants or nearly one in five people are deemed as “essential workers” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. On the frontlines of a wide range of service industries, undocumented immigrants have been committed to Covid-19 recovery and keeping the country going.

Although the standard definition of an essential worker is one who works or is involved in the safety of human life, the term has been adopted by lawmakers to include several critical industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. From health services to the food & beverage industry, one can be deemed as an “essential worker” thus covering a wide range of industries deemed as essential.

Regardless of the definition of an essential worker, the contributions of undocumented immigrants can not go unnoticed. Throughout the last four years, the Trump administration and key political figures have argued against all forms of immigration, sometimes proposing complete bans on refugees and the like. In recent months, the President has ramped up his efforts in characterizing and accusing immigrants of harming the American worker, and in effect stealing their jobs. These statements and actions misrepresent the total contributions of undocumented immigrants and those who have recently been legalized immigrants. As Covid-19 stay at home orders ensued, President Trump signed executive orders that specifically targeted undocumented workers to “ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens.” Recently Attorney Stephanie Naranjo noted the contributions of immigrants in her Attorney Highlight.

The FWD.US study also estimated that nearly 11% of agriculture workers, 6% of food services and production workers, and 2% of healthcare workers are undocumented immigrants. Not only does the study reflect on the benefits the immigrant community has offered America throughout the Covid-19 pandemic but it demonstrates the need for additional immigration into the United States. Under President-Elect Biden, much of the Trump era’s immigration policies will be undone, but the damage over the past four years will have lasting impacts. The millions of lives that were impacted by asylum claim denials, court backlogs, USCIS application delays, and child separation should not be forgotten. President-elect Biden has an obligation to the American voter to offer bipartisan immigration reform that will prioritize the American economy. America is falling behind in almost every metric, from education, infrastructure, economic growth, and healthcare. As our adversaries grow stronger, our political figures must revitalize the American economy with additional immigration, the benefits cannot be understated. Although it is highly unlikely that a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants will be accomplished, bipartisan support on reforming DACA can be. Some small changes can make the biggest impact.

The United States has been a land of opportunity for millions of people but over the last four years, immigrant communities have been discouraged from our country. Our office understands the challenges millions of undocumented immigrants face and the constant state of fear can be overwhelming. Understanding the complex immigration laws on your own or with an inexperienced immigration attorney can be frustrating and worrisome. At The Law Offices of James A. Welcome our priority has always been on quality representation backed by nearly two decades of immigration experience. As one of New England’s leading immigration Attorneys, you can rest assured knowing your case is in the right hands, our client testimonials prove it. Our friendly and dedicated staff will take your calls promptly, and ensure your questions are answered. Quality representation starts with knowing the facts about who is taking on your case, that is why we’ve established transparent policies to offer you as much insight into your case. Call our team today at (203) 753-7300 or visit our website for 24/7 live chat at