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REMHU: Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana

Print version ISSN 1980-8585On-line version ISSN 2237-9843


ROCHA, José Luis. Central American-US Migration in the Time of COVID-19. REMHU, Rev. Interdiscip. Mobil. Hum. [online]. 2020, vol.28, n.60, pp.109-126.  Epub Dec 09, 2020. ISSN 2237-9843.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to confront it have disrupted countless social processes. Immigration to the United States is far from being the exception. After providing data supporting the hypothesis that there was a decrease in the flow of immigration to the United States in 2020 due to fear of the coronavirus and a contraction of the labor market, this paper compares the situation of Central American migrants in two settlements: Virginia suburbs and Los Angeles city. Four Central Americans provide fresh information on how they are coping with the restrictions imposed by different levels of the State, and the reduction of employment opportunities. Their statements allow us to identify some factors of high influence in the increase of risks and damages in Los Angeles city: population density, disagreements between State authorities, and a megalopolis lifestyle of intense socialization. That is why the impact of COVID-19 in the places mentioned is a tale of two cities with strong contrasts. Many questions remain for further inquiry. This paper mainly shows a portrait of how the issues related to the pandemic are faced by immigrants in everyday life, in their own words.

Keywords : Migration to the United States; Central Americans; Inequality; COVID-19.

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