In an op-ed, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone; Bruno Covas, mayor of São Paulo, Brazil; and Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, California, write that migrants and refugees are being blamed and harmed in the pandemic. They write:
The scapegoating of immigrants and refugees during a crisis is an old tactic used by far too many countries and their governments. But attacking foreigners amid an unprecedented global pandemic is not just cruel and wrong; it is short-sighted. This willful blindness to the norms of human rights and the needs of our economies betrays what our values demand, what our consciences dictate, and what this stunning moment requires.
As we confront COVID-19, the last thing we should do is shut out immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. To the contrary, these extraordinary individuals fill vital roles in our societies — as essential workers in our hospitals, public transit systems, manufacturing facilities, grocery stores, and more.
Read their full piece below.