Colorado’s undocumented workers had to survive the pandemic without government aid. Next time may be different
Some people refer to the “before times” and the “after times” — the unshakeable sense that the pandemic has divided our lives into distinctly different periods.
For Susana, that feeling is especially visceral.
“Before, I was living like in a dream. I had work, I was paid well, I was getting a lot of tips,” the 53-year-old explained on a recent evening. “But now, I live with fear.”
Susana, who spoke through an interpreter during an interview, lives in mountainous Eagle County, where she worked for nearly 20 years as a housekeeper in a hotel. CPR News isn’t using her last name because she is an undocumented immigrant and fears deportation.
“I was really lucky that I had some savings, and that’s not very common,” she said. “Those savings allowed me to live for the first three or four months of the pandemic. And then, when the money ended, it drove me crazy.”
Today, Susana is among thousands of undocumented workers who were “left behind” during the pandemic — a community at the center of a renewed debate among state lawmakers: In the absence of federal help, should Colorado build its own safety net for people living in the U.S. without authorization?
Read more via CPR News.