Immigration and Covid-19

Updated on July 2, 2020 with new data on the role of Black immigrants in healthcare and other essential industries as well as the growing demand for healthcare workers by state.

As government officials, journalists, advocates, business leaders, essential workers, and concerned community members, we know that you are fighting to respond effectively and safely to the Covid-19 public health crisis. NAE is working to produce the latest estimates that show how immigrants are part of America’s fight and response to the Covid-19 health crisis.

We will be updating this page every week with new information on immigrants and Covid-19.

Have questions? Reach out to us anytime and we’ll get back to you right away: info@newamericaneconomy.org


Key Findings

  • All Healthcare Workers (16.5% immigrant)
  • Home Health Aides (36.5% immigrant)
  • Physicians (28.7%)
  • Personal Care Aides (25.1%)
  • Nursing Assistants (22.0%)
  • Surgeons (19.7%)
  • Registered Nurses (15.7%)
  • Respiratory Therapists (13.6%)
  • Psychiatrists (32%)

Read more in our research brief, Immigrants in Healthcare: Overview (April 6, 2020)

  • 1 in 5 Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
  • 1 in 8 Registered Nurses
  • 1 in 5 Personal Care Aides

Read more in our research brief, Immigrants in Healthcare: Overview (April 6, 2020)

  • Meat Processing Workers (34.7% immigrant)
  • Nursing Assistants (23.2%)
  • Physicians (27.9%)
  • Surgeons (25.4% immigrant)
  • Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs (45.2%)

See more in our data interactive, Immigrants in At-Risk Jobs During the Coronavirus Outbreak (April 3, 2020)

  • All Food Sector Workers (21.6% immigrant)
  • Food Processing Workers (28.7%)
  • Agriculture Workers (27.6%)
  • Food Delivery Workers (18.2%) 
  • Grocery and Supermarket Workers (16.6%)

Read more in our research brief, Immigrant Workers in the Food Supply Chain (April 16, 2020)

  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (24.8% immigrant)
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing (23.9%)

Read more in our research brief, Immigrant Workers in the Biomedical Industry (April 23, 2020)

  • 280,000 undocumented immigrants work in healthcare, including 62,600 who are DACA-eligible.
  • Nearly half of the almost 1.2 million DACA-eligible immigrants are essential workers.
  • DACA-eligible make up just 0.36% of the U.S. population but fully 1.7% of essential restaurant and food service workers.
  • In New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, almost 1 in 3 food delivery workers are undocumented.

Read more in our research briefs, DACA-Eligible Immigrants in Healthcare and as Essential Workers (May 14, 2020) and Undocumented Workers in Healthcare (April 4, 2020)

  • In New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, immigrants make up over one-third of all healthcare workers.
  • In New Jersey, which has the second-largest number of confirmed cases in the country,  immigrants make up over half of all health aides
  • In California, the country’s top agricultural state, immigrants make up almost two-thirds of the agricultural workforce
  • In almost every one of the largest 15 metro areas, immigrants make up at least 20% of nurses, physicians, and surgeons

Read more localized findings in our research briefs, Immigrants in Healthcare: State-Level Data (April 9, 2020), Immigrants in Healthcare: Metro-Level Data (April 16, 2020), and Immigrant Workers in the Food Supply Chain (April 16, 2020)

NAE’s Covid-19 Research

Covid-19 Response Tracker

Local Organizations Supporting Immigrants

About Us

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…