Houston's undocumented immigrant community struggles during COVID-19 pandemic

The immigrant community is one of the hardest hit during the Coronavirus pandemic with many of them uninsured for health care, and few resources available to them.

“Either you stop working because you’re sick or you go to work because you need the money. So a lot of people are in that limbo of either don’t work and don’t receive any money or go to work and potentially get worse in health or like lose your life.” Says 21-year-old Gloria Gonzalez.

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She tells Fox 26 that her mother was laid off, and her father has been reduced to working part-time. The same goes for her aunt and uncle. All four are undocumented workers, who pay their taxes, but have few resources available to help them.

“We can’t apply for unemployment. They don’t qualify for the stimulus check, so right now it’s just hoping that we can keep our jobs and then not getting laid off,” said Gonzalez, who is the only full-time worker in her household, balancing two internships while going to college.

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Gonzalez is also a DACA recipient which brings other concerns for her future. “I know that I may potentially lose my permit to work here, which is also a concern. In the long run, if things turn out for the worse it could be all of us losing our jobs,” she said.

Her family’s story is a reflection of the over 500,000 undocumented people living in the Houston area. Hoping to make it through the pandemic with the little that they have.

“They don’t like to show the struggle like they don’t like to show that they need the money, but I can tell,” says Gonzalez.