Nearly 1 in 5 ‘frontline’ NYC workers are non-citizens; comptroller calls for stronger support for nurses, janitors, others

Nearly one in five workers on the front lines of the city’s coronavirus response are non-citizens, putting them in an especially precarious position, according to city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

He released a batch of data Thursday aimed at calling attention to their needs.

“Frontline workers are putting their safety on the line to keep our city running — nurses, janitors, grocery clerks, child care staff, EMS workers, bus and truck drivers and so many more,” Stringer said in a statement. “And yet, these same essential workers whom we trust with our health, our nourishment, our loved ones, and our lives are too often ignored, underpaid, and overworked,”

Stringer’s office found 19% of “frontline workers” are non-citizens, “often placing them in a precarious and frightening position in this age of arbitrary ICE crackdowns.” Among employees of grocery, convenience and drug stores, 27% are non-citizens, while 36% of building cleaners and 22% of social service providers lack citizenship status.