Other countries also facing calls to lift visa, citizenship restrictions for those who have helped fight pandemic

France has granted citizenship to some 12,000 foreign workers who have been on the front lines of the country’s battle against Covid-19, including doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, cashiers and garbage collectors, France’s minister for citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, said in a statement Thursday.

“Our Republic has the honor of welcoming these new French citizens who have shown so much determination and such devotion to serve their fellow citizens,” Schiappa said. “These front-line workers showed up for  our country, it’s common sense that we reach out to them,” Schiappa added.

The pandemic has also prompted calls in other countries for visa and residency restrictions to be lifted for foreign workers who have put their lives at risk in health-care systems that need them, the Washington Post reported.

In the United States, nearly 29,000 health-care workers — out of many more undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers” — feared losing their permits last year when the Trump administration sought to end a program that protects them from deportation. The Supreme Court later blocked the attempt.

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