Across the country, 202,500 DACA recipients are working to protect the health and safety of Americans as the country confronts COVID-19. They are ensuring that children are still being educated; food is still being grown, packaged, cooked, shipped, and put on the shelves of grocery stores; patients are being cared for; and much more.

DACA recipients, for example, are doctors and medical students, putting their own health and safety on the line. They are also teachers, striving to provide a sense of well-being and continuity to America’s youngest generation remotely. Such roles are crucial at a time when the United States is facing a critical shortage of workers in both professions.

This column looks at the demographics of DACA recipients who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, highlighting three inextricably linked industries and occupation groups identified as “essential critical infrastructure workers” by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to the guidance, these are “essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.” Many governors who have issued stay at home orders have adopted some or all of DHS’s guidelines on these 17 wide-ranging sectors into their list of essential workers.

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