Summary of Series: “Navigating Covid-19: Reflections and Advice from and For Undocumented Communities”

At My Undocumented Life, with support from The UndocuScholars Project at UCLA, we commissioned undocumented community members to write posts with reflections and advice about navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Alejandra, a recent graduate from Tufts University, shares her experiences about what’s next after college for non-DACA students during the pandemic. “ At the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, I saw many online businesses that were thriving which showed me the importance of developing digital skills. Times like these showed me how important it is to have an entrepreneurial mindset and how we can make money from many skills we don’t even realize we possess.”

Abby, a first-generation undocumented college student and DACA recipient, describes her work as a Certified Medical Assistant during the pandemic. “As a Medical Assistant you are the support for the doctor, you room patients, take their vitals (blood pressure, height, weight), you take calls and speak with the patient if needed. Today I will tell you my journey during the current pandemic.”

Iliana, who navigated higher education herself as an undocumented student, graduated from Claremont Graduate University’s PhD program, and is now the Director of Research & Entrepreneurship at Immigrants Rising, discusses entrepreneurship pathways for undocumented communities during the pandemic. “I myself was an undocumented independent contractor before I obtained my work authorization through DACA in 2013… my clients at the time were small local businesses that wanted to establish their presence on social media.”

Daniela, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University at Albany SUNY, discusses the ethical implications of doing research with undocumented communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In this post, I will share some of my and other researchers’ mistakes when conducting research on undocumented migration and how to address these weaknesses. I then offer tips for qualitative researchers to strengthen ethical research data collection during a pandemic.”

Alejandra also wrote a second post in the series about navigating sickness and travel restrictions with a mixed-status family during the Covid-19 pandemic. “With the uncertainty of this pandemic and as I write this blog post, I have made the decision to return to my hometown in the next couple months to take care of myself and my family. I don’t think most documented and even undocumented folks with DACA understand what it means to travel and reside in a border town without work authorization.”

Denise, a middle school teacher and doctoral student at University of Southern California, describes her experiences teaching online during the pandemic. “Teaching virtually in the time of Covid-19 under an explicitly anti-immigrant administration is something I never expected to do in my wildest imagination. I am currently a DACA recipient and middle school educator.”


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