Senator Bernie Sanders blasted the state of Michigan after reports circulated that undocumented immigrants living in Flint, Michigan have been denied clean drinking water. “This is a humanitarian crisis,” the presidential candidate declared.
The comments came after the Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week that Flint’s roughly 1,000 undocumented immigrants have faced significant barriers accessing the bottled water now being distributed throughout the city. According to both immigrants and advocates, some people have been turned away because they lacked proper identification, while many others do not even bother because they don’t speak English and fear being deported.
In a strongly-worded statement on Saturday, the senator from Vermont called it “outrageous and totally unacceptable that aspiring Americans and others in Flint cannot get the clean drinking water they desperately need.”
“No one should live in fear of being deported for getting a bottle of water for their family,” Sanders continued. “All people, including immigrants, should have access to clean and drinkable water, regardless of immigration status or lack of identification.”
Both Sanders and his primary challenger, Hillary Clinton, who is holding a campaign event in Flint on Sunday, have condemned Michigan Governor Dan Snyder for his handling of the water crisis.
According to the Free Press, the ID requirement has now been lifted. But for months, this population was forced to continue to drink the lead-tainted water, which has been connected to a deadly surge of Legionnaires’ disease and a spike in lead levels in the area’s children.
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