A Guide to Surviving this Pandemic
and Beyond as a Migrant Worker
By Diane Harrison
As everyone struggles in the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be all too easy to take for granted that migrant workers are suffering more than most people. Displaced from faraway home countries and with very little rights to protect you and yours, it can be hard to cope. However, having a better understanding of your situation, your rights, and the resources available to help you will certainly alleviate much of this uncertainty and guide you toward coming out of this pandemic unscathed. Let the following resources put you at ease.
While it’s clear that everyone is trying to stay afloat in the treacherous seas of COVID-19, it can be argued that some boats are more rickety than others. Immigrants and migrant workers, in particular, are having a much tougher time than most people, and owing to the ambiguity of their circumstances, they are facing an onslaught of problems during the pandemic.
- Generally speaking, the provisions of COVID-19 relief initiatives are sadly lacking for immigrant communities.
- The irony is likely not lost on the countless migrant workers who make up a large percentage of healthcare workers in the United States.
- Many immigrants are also fearing that COVID-19 testing could lead to deportation.
- There is also little to no change in immigrant healthcare.
The Possible Help You Can Get
Despite the prevailing problems for migrant workers and their families during this dark time, many local governments and non-profits have banded together to fill in the gaps in terms of support and resources. So, hang tight because help is at hand.
- Know that you may be eligible for financial relief from one of the many relief funds dedicated to immigrants of various statuses.
- It’s also a good idea to know where you stand as a migrant worker in terms of unemployment insurance.
- Some states cover COVID-19 testing and other COVID-19-associated costs, so do your due diligence to find out how your state or town or city measures up.
- Open a bank account, even as a non U.S. citizen and safeguard your funds. See this Guide on the subject, provided by BankRate.com.
The Actions You Can Take
Of course, you can also take matters into your own hands and find ways to strengthen your position. There are, in fact, concrete steps you can take for you and your family to better ride out and maybe even thrive in the pandemic, as well as for your own peace of mind.
- It’s important to understand your rights as a migrant worker during the pandemic.
- If you have the resources, you can use a job board like Upwork to hire immigration lawyer freelancers to keep you and your family protected.
- Just as important is to get tested for COVID-19, which is free in many localities.
- Most of all, get your voice heard to protect your fellow migrant workers.
Suffice it to say, don’t let what a seemingly dire situation stop you from fighting for your rights and protecting your position and your family. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are, in fact, an essential part of the country and society as a whole as a migrant worker, so there’s no reason to get your dues during this pandemic and beyond.
I’m Diane Harrison, a former librarian of 15 years turned non-profit marketing guru. Although I’m no longer a librarian and have switched career gears completely, I’ve combined my passion for helping others as well as my writing and researching skills to provide you with a site I hope you can use to gather helpful health information.