Undocumented immigrants working on pandemic's front lines fear for health and home

Monday, March 30, 2020

Veronica Velasquez’s job as a physical therapist at a Los Angeles community hospital has become riskier as the number of coronavirus patients rises. But the risk of losing her working papers and being deported hasn’t changed at all.

Velasquez, 27, is among the nearly 700,000 undocumented young people who were brought to the USA as children and rely on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that President Donald Trump wants to terminate. A Supreme Court ruling could come soon.

Her plight, along with those of about 27,000 DACA recipients working as doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health care workers, is full of irony. When the nation needs her most, she could be pulled from the workforce.

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