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Do Not Forget the Undocumented….

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Do Not Forget the Undocumented….

4th February 2021

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“During this global pandemic and national emergency, access to treatment and care for immigrants, including undocumented individuals, is critical to tracking and responding to the crisis. Removing barriers to testing and treatment not only saves lives but keeps all Americans safer.”

The above statement issued by the US Catholic Bishops is true not only for the USA but for most countries which carry the burden of the pandemic while hosting itinerant communities. It seems to be a no-brainer that, in a pandemic situation where the virus is no respecter of persons, gender, status, citizenship or any other criterion, the only solution is universal access to the vaccine. However, this is sadly not a universal understanding.

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Take, for example, the comments of Nebraska (USA) Governor Pete Ricketts who did not "expect that illegal immigrants will be part of the vaccine with that program" because "you're supposed to be a legal resident of the country to be able to be working in those plants." He was referring to undocumented workers in the meat packaging plants in that State.

This briefing paper looks at what is likely to happen with undocumented migrants in South Africa and at the positions espoused by the World Health Organisation and the Catholic Church internationally.

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Paper by CPLO

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