Poisoned Families Should Not Be Deported

February 29, 2016

When toxic, lead-laced water flowed through the pipes in Flint, immigrant families were among the most severely impacted.  Because public health information was not initially made available in languages other than English, many immigrants—and the children of immigrants—drank, cooked and bathed in the toxic water long after the state admitted the water was unsafe.  For a brief period of time, state-run water distribution centers even denied water to individuals who did not have identification documents. 

In February 2016 the ACLU led a coalition of more than 60 children’s rights, public health, and immigrant advocacy organizations in sending a joint letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services urging them to offer relief from deportation and suspend all immigration-related enforcement activity in Flint.  In response, federal immigration officials announced that they will not conduct enforcement operations at or near locations distributing clean water.  Efforts to obtain immigration relief for poisoned families continue. 

(ACLU Attorney Miriam Aukerman, in partnership with attorneys representing multiple coalition partners.)

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