Commonwealth Magazine, by Sarah Betancourt
Nearly half of the undocumented immigrants employed in the state, an estimated 55,000 workers, were at risk of losing their job or losing pay because their workplace had to close during the COVID-19 shutdowns, according to a report issued Monday.
The analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning policy think tank, said workers without legal status in the country are disproportionately employed in sectors that have experienced widespread closures due to the pandemic. These include jobs that require close customer interactions, such as those at restaurants, hotels, and barbershops.
The Mass. Budget report highlighted state legislation that would offer financial relief to people who hold Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) â€” some of whom are undocumented. Workers can get an ITIN number with a foreign passport.