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Abstract

In this project, I study how the undocumented worker in the agricultural and meatpacking industry find themselves in two contrastingly perceived categories during the COVID 19 pandemic. They are praised for their role as essential workers while simultaneously being illegal workers in America. I analyze what this contradiction in categorization implies for the status of the undocumented essential worker during the pandemic. By conducting a qualitative analysis of newspaper articles on the status of the undocumented essential worker, I establish that the undocumented essential worker in the food supply industry has become doubly vulnerable during the pandemic.

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