54 / 2021
Reena Kukreja

COVID-19, Racial Capitalism, and Undocumented Bangladeshi Agricultural Workers in Manolada, Greece

This article uses the example of undocumented Bangladeshi migrants in the strawberry sector of Greece to highlight how racial capitalism heightens the health vulnerabilities of racialized low-class migrant workers and exposes them to a greater risk of COVID-19 transmission. Race-based devaluation of workers intersects with migrant illegality and culturally-specific masculine norms to normalize a discourse of healthcare “undeservingness” for undocumented racialized migrants. Unfree labor is legislated through restrictive migrant labor laws and selective detention and deportation of “illegal” migrants. Structural and systemic discriminations increase health precarities for undocumented agricultural workers.
KEYWORDS: Greece, migrant agricultural workers, COVID-19, racial capitalism, migrant illegality