Despite of the scarce resources in migration and integration policies of European governments and the divisive discourses that are managing to make their mark… immigrants are today – more than ever – key players in Europe’s battle against the COVID-19 and its consequences!
Immigrants have been one of the key players against COVID-19. Immigrant doctors and nurses have been on the front lines fighting to save lives since the pandemic spread to Europe. Colombians, Brazilians, Moroccans or Senegalese are just some of the nationalities that are part of the team of health fighters working tirelessly against the virus – an example of the true value of immigrants to European societies!
These are the percentages of immigrant doctors and nurses in the European countries with the highest number of cases of COVID-19. Thank you all!
Contributing to the economy
On the other hand, in these times of Coronavirus, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has highlighted now more than ever the importance of immigrant workers as key players in agri-food systems. They are a vital group for mitigating losses in this sector, but a highly unprotected one. Thus, the FAO has extended to Europe recommendations for their protection through the extension of work permits, as well as the guarantee of access to the health and social protection system for immigrants regardless of their work status.
Countries such as Portugal have set up rapid regularization channels for immigrants who have applied for temporary permits. In Spain, residence permits have also been extended to immigrants working in the countryside who were already on Spanish territory, and even the Italians are aware of the need for these measures to avoid losing much of their agricultural production.
Thus, the pandemic is making visible the important role that immigrants play in the European economy and, now more than ever, in the upcoming economic recovery after the COVID-19. Europe needs immigrants!
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