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The undocumented

19 May 2020

Thousands of undocumented people in the city are at risk of becoming homeless or running out of money for food. They often work illegally in the hospitality sector, or as a cleaner or au-pair, but many of these jobs have dropped away because of the pandemic. For example, João and Kevane both lost 70 percent of their income.

The Brazilian Kevane has been residing illegally in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. She works as a cleaner and her husband is a painter and decorator. Normally the family lives on 450 euros a week, but due to the pandemic their earnings have all but disappeared. ‘My husband, child and I are living on 100 euros a week. And from this we need to pay the rent, too’, she says.

The 22-year-old Brazilian João lost nearly seventy percent of his income as a cleaner. Many people are working from home and are scared for their health and so cleaners are no longer welcome. ‘You worry, but there’s nothing you can do about it’, he says. He is currently living sharing a small dwelling with five other illegal immigrants in the Nieuw-West area. Together they are still able to afford the rent, but they fear for the future.

João understands that Dutch people are also struggling in these difficult times and he feels that they should receive support first. ‘But maybe later, when everything is OK again, we also could have some support.’

by AT5


met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West Soundtrackcity Het huis van Amsterdam