Giving Compass' Take:

• Muzaffar Chishti and Jessica Bolter's article on Migration Policy Institute condemns the ineptitude of U.S. relief efforts to protect disproportionately affected immigrant workers.

• What can you do during and after the outbreak to promote policies for equity for immigrant workers and other marginalized communities?

• Learn more about how you can effectively support communities in need.

As the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to settle, there has been growing acknowledgment of the central role that immigrant workers play on the frontlines of the war against the virus. What is less recognized—but increasingly evident—is that immigrants are also disproportionately suffering from economic hardship caused by shutdowns and social distancing, are falling victim to the lethal virus, and becoming targets of hate and discrimination. And many are excluded from the relief authorized by Congress.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has estimated that immigrants make up outsize shares both of essential workers in the fight against the pandemic and those in the industries hardest hit by its economic impact. Six million immigrants are working in frontline occupations, such as health care, food production, and transportation; they are overrepresented in certain critical occupations, such as doctors and home health aides, where they face heightened risk of exposure.

Beyond the economic hardship, immigrants in the United States also are facing more difficulty accessing health care if they contract the coronavirus. While no data are available on the number of COVID-19 cases by national origin, MPI analysis indicates that 13 of the 20 U.S. counties with the most cases per capita as of April 14 have higher concentrations of noncitizens than the national average.

In cities with high incidence of cases, immigrants tend to live in conditions that make them more vulnerable than white, native-born residents. A New York University study of COVID-19 cases found that New York City neighborhoods with more confirmed cases had lower median incomes, more household overcrowding, and higher shares of Black and Hispanic residents—all characteristics more typical of immigrant neighborhoods than those in which white, native-born populations live.

Read the full article about immigrant workers by Muzaffar Chishti and Jessica Bolter at Migration Policy Institute.