Schar School Professor Justin Gest is an expert in comparative politics, immigration, and demographic change. Gest, author of several books including “The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality” (Oxford University Press), has published commentary in The Washington Post, Reuters, Politico, and other prominent publications.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, what are your thoughts on immigrants in the healthcare labor force?
Gest: Immigrants and first-generation Americans are the "first responders" to the coronavirus health emergency. Immigrants make up disproportionate shares of the pharmaceutical developers, research scientists, health workers, nurses, physicians, and pharmacists on the front lines of this crisis.
How do changing policies affect immigrants at the front lines of the pandemic?
Gest: They are the firemen running inside the World Trade Center on 9/11, while everyone else is running away. However the government coordinates the American response, immigrants will be an integral part of the herculean effort that will be required to mitigate the spread of this pandemic and contain its effect on our families and friends.