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Immigrants and undocumented residents are at heightened risk of being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are being left out of many solutions. Long considered a gateway metropolis, the Chicago region is home to over 1.5 million immigrants who today make up nearly 20% of the population. The recent surge in coronavirus cases in Latinx communities lays bare the heightened vulnerability of immigrant communities, due in part to precarious or unsafe work environments for essential workers and overcrowded housing related to the affordability crisis, making it hard for many to stay-at-home.
As our city faces health, economic, and racial challenges from the COVID-19 and the recent unrest, many people of color are losing their jobs and are excluded from temporary federal fixes like unemployment relief. What needs to be done to ensure that Chicago’s immigrant community stays housed and safe in these times of crises? How can the immigrant community support the current uprising movement that can truly build back better?