Arizona.- While in France essential workers who are migrants will have an accelerated process for citizenship as a form of gratitude for their contributions in the pandemic, in the United States the story is different.
Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko indicated that US citizens should be vaccinated first and not Hispanics. Has anyone ever told you that Hispanics can also be Americans by birth or naturalization, that they live, work, and age in North American territory?
Lesko made these comments while trying to defend an amendment that would give US citizens priority to receive the vaccine. This proposal had no traction, since segregating the population by their immigration status would not help mitigate infections, less in Arizona, one of the entities with the highest number of cases and deaths from coronavirus.
Arizona legislators, mainly the most conservative, are not distinguished by their knowledge of the world. No. They have lived so long in a privileged bubble and they have not bothered to explore the cultural melting pot that this border entity offers. They continue with the archaic thought of human sacrifice. Lawmakers like Lesko represent those who are being left behind, as new generations push for change. This was demonstrated by the results of the presidential elections; locally, there is still much to do.
Although there is no exact count of unauthorized migration to the United States, according to the Migration Policy Institute, there are some 281,000 undocumented migrants living in Arizona … they represent less than 4% of the population. Not all are Hispanic.
Denying the Covid-19 vaccine to undocumented migrants in the United States would be like shooting yourself in the foot or shooting an own goal. Most of them have been essential workers during the pandemic, risking their lives in pursuit of social welfare, and lagging behind government financial support. They have had to work for every dollar that reaches their pockets without having the luxury of even dreaming of one of those unemployment checks. Losing their job is not an option for them. But when it comes to profit, the more privileged whites want to sacrifice them. “First, the Americans,” they say, as if migrants were a lower category than the prevailing human race, as if the life of a person with a US passport was worth more than the life that breaks his back in the field.
Migrants in an irregular situation pay taxes and they do so with the hope of one day showing this country that they deserve to be here. From them come the dollars that have saved so many families during the pandemic. Even so, they remain in the battle line against the pandemic, racism, social discrimination and slights.