This year, health officials have urged us to not gather for the holiday season, and have advised us to stay home in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Gatherings will be smaller, but we can still give thanks, support workers, and protect our communities.

Essential workers are responsible for the meals on our tables, and many of these essential workers are immigrants who have been carrying heavy burdens. They serve in the jobs with the most risks and with the most importance to the food supply chain. Immigrants are making significant contributions to the economy during a global pandemic that has put them in even more danger than usual.

According to America’s Voice, “In fields, meatpacking plants, labs, vaccine testing facilities, hospitals, grocery stores and communities all across the country, immigrants are keeping us fed, keeping us safe, and keeping us going. This despite being targeted by an unrelenting war on immigrants and refugees prosecuted by the Trump administration and aided and abetted by Republicans in Congress. As a result, immigrants continue to live in fear as this administration continues with raids, expulsions, detention, and deterrence strategies that leave potential refugees in squalid conditions. They are being left out and left behind in COVID stabilization and recovery efforts, and they disproportionately bear the brunt of the pandemic from a health, safety and economic perspective.”

The Trump administration targeted immigrants, but America’s Voice is calling for the incoming Biden administration to modernize immigration policy and reverse the cruelty of the Trump administration. Research shows that in healthcare, immigrants make up a significant share of workers, and immigrant women specifically are critical to the system. Additionally, the scientists behind some major vaccine development in the US are immigrants.

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