The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was declared at a time when the two main candidates to serve as the next president of the United States were preparing to step up their respective campaigns. Many analysts expected the pandemic would become a hot-button political issue, but then attention turned to the actual mechanisms of casting votes at a time when large gatherings are discouraged.
As the situation stands in September 2020, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to become a bastion of democracy in extraordinary times. As the election approaches, the National Association of Secretaries of State reports more members willing to expand mail-in voting operations for a very good reason: the U.S. is far from being out of the woods with regard to COVID-19 infections and deaths. Forcing people to stand in line at polling stations, even with the basic measures of social distancing and wearing masks, won’t be enough to prevent contagion. Voting by mail may not be what Americans would normally prefer, but this is the most sensible option at this time.
With the above in mind, the experienced immigration attorneys from KS Visa Law, a premier provider of immigration services in San Diego, note thousands of USPS employees who will play a crucial role in delivering ballots to be counted are immigrants. In 2018, researchers at George Mason University came up with the following USPS workforce statistics regarding those who were born outside the U.S.
- 10.7 percent of postal carriers
- 15 percent of sorters
- 15.5 percent of clerks
Nearly 14 percent of American postal service workers are immigrants. According to PS Form 2591, which is the employment application used by the USPS, job seekers must either be legal residents or naturalized citizens to be hired. Some managerial and executive positions require applicants to be natural-born or naturalized citizens.
USPS jobs tend to attract career-minded applicants who seek to earn retirement benefits, and this is one of the reasons many applicants are green card holders. There are also regional traditions among foreigners who are postal workers. For example, in California many Filipinos pursue USPS careers, and quite a few are veterans of the U.S. Navy. There’s an expectation that military service or working for the post office will put immigrants in a better position to become naturalized citizens, but this isn’t always the case.
It stands to reason that many of the USPS employees who will be handling votes for the 2020 political election won’t be able to vote themselves, at least not until they become naturalized citizens. When we look at the number of people who are eligible to vote in the U.S., we see that 10 percent are naturalized citizens. This is a significant number of people for candidates to pursue through their political campaigns.
The contribution of immigrants to the American way of life extends beyond working for the USPS. Veterans for New Americans, an organization that seeks to highlight military contributions by immigrants, estimates 5,000 permanent residents enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces each year. Some of them do so through special programs that grant them residency in exchange for service.
If you need to know more about how current and proposed policies affect immigrant worker status, seek the advice of experienced immigration attorneys. San Diego residents should reach out to the experienced immigration lawyers at KS Visa Law. We can assist you with a wide variety of immigration-related issues, including those related to family immigration and employment. Call 858-874-0711 today to schedule an appointment.