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Judicial Watch • Water Amnesty for Illegal Aliens in Flint, Michigan

Water Amnesty for Illegal Aliens in Flint, Michigan

Water Amnesty for Illegal Aliens in Flint, Michigan

FEBRUARY 26, 2016

Caving into the demands of the open borders movement and pro-immigrant Spanish media, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will refrain from enforcing immigration laws in areas of Flint, Michigan affected by a water crisis. The water amnesty is the latest of many reprieves issued by the Obama administration to help illegal immigrants nationwide. Judicial Watch has reported on many of them, including recent hurricane, earthquake, Ebola and “severe weather” amnesties.

This one involves the widely reported water situation in Flint, which is located about 66 miles northwest of Detroit. Last year researchers discovered that the city’s drinking water was contaminated with lead from decaying old pipes. The problem arose after a switch in 2014 in the city’s water source to save money. Soon complaints mounted that the water smelled and looked strange and academic researchers discovered that it was toxic. This all occurred after a 7-1 vote by the Flint City Council to stop buying Detroit water and join a new pipeline project, according to a local news report.

Now there’s a state of emergency and the feds have stepped in, supplying the area with free bottled water and special filters to install at home until the local water supply is clean. For weeks immigrant rights groups complained that residents had to show identification to receive their free goods from the government and illegal aliens were being left out. National Spanish-language media outlets blasted the Obama administration for discriminating against illegal aliens. One reported that undocumented immigrants weren’t getting help for fear of being deported, instead opting to drink contaminated water or pay out of pocket to buy some. Another major Spanish-language newspaper wrote that illegal immigrants and their children suffered lead poisoning and couldn’t get clean emergency water because they didn’t have identification cards. “When the National Guard went door to door distributing potable water, many were scared to open because they feared the uniformed persons were immigration agents who would deport them,” the paper wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which claims to combat bigotry and protect civil rights for all, joined the cause expressing “horror” and “indignation” that the government denied undocumented immigrants free water and filters because they couldn’t provide a photo ID or Social Security number. In a Spanish-language statement the group’s Michigan chapter referred to news reports that Flint-area fire department stations distributing water were requiring identification. But even in places that aren’t requiring ID, illegal immigrants are scared to come out and get their potable water out of fear that they will be deported, the ADL stresses in its announcement. “We are calling on the National Guard to order all fire departments and other centers distributing supplies that no one be rejected.”

Like a good lapdog the Obama administration obliged. This week DHS issued a statement—in English and Spanish—guaranteeing that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would not conduct enforcement operations at or near locations distributing clean water in Flint or surrounding areas. “Moreover, DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing water-related information or distributing clean water as part of any enforcement activities,” the statement assures. The agency’s priority is to support state and local government efforts to distribute clean water, the statement says, adding that DHS stands “ready to assist those in need.”

The new Flint water amnesty is part of a broader effort by the administration to seize all opportunities to assist illegal immigrants. Earlier in the year DHS rewarded undocumented aliens living in the Southern and Midwest flood region with a special “severe weather immigration relief.” This type of emergency amnesty is granted under a program reserved for “special situations” like natural catastrophes beyond human control, according to DHS. The U.S. government offers similar benefits for immigrants who claim they can’t return to their home country due to “civil unrest” or “severe environmental disasters.” Examples include tens of thousands of Hondurans and Nicaraguans getting amnesty after a hurricane and tens of thousands of Haitians in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.


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