The Migration Policy Institute published a graph based on the 2015 Census Bureau breaking down the percentage of immigrant workers in the health industry. Nationally, immigrants account for over 16% of all healthcare workers. This includes 36% of doctors and over 29% of registered nurses in New York, which has been hit the hardest by COVID-19.
Over the last several years, more and more barriers have been put in place making it difficult for healthcare workers to immigrate to the United States, particularly in the area of H-1b visas. This study is a reminder both of the vital work that the immigrant community provides and that our country relies onimmigration and is strengthened by it.
One of the many lessons that should be learned from this crisis is that installing arbitrary barriers to the immigration process that serve no purpose but to baselessly deny visas and to discourage immigrants from applying in the first place have real world consequences on our populous and is not just limited to those trying to immigrate here.