It is without a doubt that immigrants are usually the ones who are hit hardest when times get tough. Excuse the cliche, but its true. They usually take up those jobs that nobody wants, and get paid minimum wage, and sometimes not even that. And, although COVID does not discriminate based on your immigration status, it does not surprise me that immigrants in France have been the ones that have been affected the most.
Let me put this into perspective for you, and who knows maybe you guys know a little something about this struggle.
It’s the beginning of the pandemic, and your struggling to make enough money to feed your family, and pay rent. On top of that you’re scared of catching a deadly virus that would infect your whole family because you live in cramped housing. However, catching the virus is not an option for you because that would mean losing your job, losing your job would mean not being able to pay rent, and not being able to rent would mean getting kicked out of your home. Where would you even go? Who would even help you? Would you even be able to receive government assistance because of your citizenship status? All these thoughts are running through your head.
With quarantine in place, it was difficult to leave your house. Something that I personally did not know was that in France, people were not allowed to leave their homes unless they had official documentation. For many immigrants who survive off the the tourist industry, meaning selling things such as eiffel tower replicas to tourists, having official documentation was not an option. For other immigrants who get paid under the table and work side jobs, official documentation, again is not an option.
However, some of these restrictions are no longer in place; nevertheless, immigrants are still struggling. For those who lost their job, they are scrambling and searching for anything they can get. For those who were able to keep their job, they are doing whatever they can to ensure that they do not lose it.
I would like to finish this blog post with one simple statement. Let us be thankful for what we have because there are others who are truly struggling beyond our understanding.
- Side Note: Check out this Washington Post video of an essential worker in France who’s living out of her car so she doesn’t accidentally expose her family to the coronavirus: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/03/frances-coronavirus-crisis-undocumented-are-being-left-behind/