This week, Canadian immigration officials said the federal government may allow such caregivers to essentially jump the immigration queue and remain in the country permanently because of the outsized contributions they are making to fight the pandemic.

At a time of a global uprising against the mistreatment of black people, the issue of how to treat asylum seekers working in nursing homes has also become bound up with questions of race and social inequality. Many of the workers in Quebec nursing homes, for example, are black and from Haiti, among the poorest and least developed countries in the world.

“We deserve to remain in Canada because we are putting our lives on the line every day to save others,” said Ms. Lucien, who entered Quebec from the United States without immigration papers in 2018, and hopes to pursue a nursing career.

Still, the path is not certain for Ms. Lucien. The details of the federal government plan are unclear although officials said it would likely include orderlies and possibly security guards in the health care sector.

Read more in The New York Times.