The next night, the 33-year-old undocumented day laborer from Guatemala fell ill with a fever. Her head pounded. Her throat hurt. She could not stop coughing or vomiting. And she was short of breath. She does not know whether she has covid-19 because three hospitals told her not to bother coming in for testing unless she’s gasping for air.
“They told me to stay at home, don’t go out, and when I can no longer breathe, call 9-1-1 for them to pick me up,” Cano said.
Cano found out that the welfare state was only going to pay up if she was a citizen. The Washington Post and Cano have found this to be incredibly unfair:
Unlike many American workers, undocumented immigrants can’t count on the social safety net if they lose their jobs or get sick. Most do not have health insurance or access to paid sick leave — putting them and the people they encounter at risk. Most aren’t eligible for unemployment insurance or the cash payments included in the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed last month — even if they pay taxes or their children are U.S. citizens.
“The government has announced it was going to support people affected by the coronavirus but that’s for Americans — not for people like us who are undocumented,” said Cano, who applied for asylum in November. “My fear is if I seek help, this country will see me as just trying to take advantage of the system.”
Cano had been working in construction making a little over $3,000 a month working here illegally, a portion of which she had been sending home to her family. This is not typical, I’m told by the Washington Post that most illegal aliens are here only “doing jobs Americans won’t do” and spend all their paychecks here.
Unfortunately for Cano and her teenagers, they now have no money coming in due to illegal alien mommy’s forced funemployment by her local government.
She is trying to find out if there is more work for an illegal alien here (remember that she is still contagious and infected with the coronavirus of course) but is not having any luck yet:
Now, she is broke — with no savings and no income. She felt heartsick during a recent phone call home, telling her mother that no money would be coming this month.
The Brooklyn community job center where Cano and other day laborers used to gather each morning is deserted, like similar centers around the country. New contracts, now fielded over the phone, have dropped from about 20 a week before the coronavirus crisis to around five, said Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project, which runs the center.
“I’m trying to figure out how to find another job, but I’m not healthy — and there are no jobs,” Cano said. “At this point, I’m looking for anything just to support my kids.”
Once she recovers, Cano plans to sell homemade tamales for $3 each — the way she supported her family over the winter when construction work was slow. She hopes it will be enough to cover their groceries.
It is all very sad and depressing for those who have been hardest hit by this forced recession, thanks to the country which shall never be named. Democrats should take solace that it isn’t Republicans who are deporting them, they are with their shutdown orders:
“A lot of undocumented immigrants will be hit first — and worst — by this recession,” said Orson Aguilar, director of economic policy at UnidosUS.
Juan, a 36-year-old head cook at a diner in Berkeley, Calif., saw his hours cut in half — to just five hours a day, for takeout and delivery only — once the governor ordered the state to shelter in place.
He donned a mask and gloves when he left for work and sanitized all equipment at the restaurant before touching it, fearful that he’d carry the virus home to his 9-year-old daughter, who has asthma.
Then last Friday, he learned that the restaurant was shutting its doors, even for takeout.
“I’m in shock,” said Juan, who asked that only his first name be used because of his immigration status. “I was kind of afraid to go to work, but now I don’t know what to do.”
He got what he wanted, didn’t he?
But we mustn’t forget ORANGE MAN BAD!
Trump also made it even harder for these poor illegal aliens and other low income immigrants to gain their green card because they can no longer take public assistance and apply.
They are also deathly afraid of President Trump deporting them when they show up to the hospitals, sick with the coronavirus.
I’m sure you all find this all very depressing:
Others worry about jeopardizing their chances to gain permanent status in the U.S. The administration implemented a rule in February that would make it more difficult for low-income immigrants, including those who entered the country legally, to become permanent residents if they have received public benefits, including health coverage for the poor such as Medicaid. But it recently made an exception for those seeking medical attention for the coronavirus.
“They tell us, ‘When you get sick, you have to go to the hospital,’ but all the undocumented domestic workers I know are so scared that ICE might get their information and come for them,” said Lydia, 41, who does not have health insurance.
Both Lydia and her husband, Jerry, are undocumented immigrants from Uganda who have raised their children — ages 13, 12 and 8 — in the United States. Jerry spent three months in an immigration detention center in 2012 after losing an asylum case and missed the birth of his youngest son.