Language barrier putting thousands at risk - WNEM TV 5

Language barrier putting thousands at risk

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

As new information is constantly unearthed in the Flint water crisis, some of it may be getting lost in translation, putting thousands at risk.

The crisis has impacted all of the city's residents but those who don't speak English as their primary language could have been exposed to the lead-tainted water for months without knowing it was contaminated.

Of the nearly 100,000 living in the city, almost 4 percent are of Hispanic descent and 2.8 percent of that population speaks a language other than English at home.

Leaders of the community have since worked with government officials to break down a communication barrier with the more than 2,700 Spanish-speaking residents.

A secondary issue facing the Latino community is many undocumented residents are afraid to go to official water distribution sites because several asked for identification.

Officials with Our Lady of Guadalupe Church raised concerns and government officials agreed to stop asking for IDs. 

Local Immigration Attorney Victoria Arteaga told TV5 more needs to be done to ease concerns and meet the needs of residents who primarily speak Spanish or other languages.

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