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Overdose Leads Authorities to Basement Housing 13 Migrants, Mostly Children

via Sky News

An investigation by Hammond, Indiana police into an overdose death led to the discovery of 13 undocumented Venezuelan migrants, including 9 children, living illegally in the basement of an apartment building.

The cramped and hazardous living conditions violated several building codes.

“This type of illegal basement apartment places people at extreme risk and danger, with owners often preying on marginalized people and those without means to find other adequate housing,” Hammond Department of Inspections chief Kelly Kearney stated.

The migrants had been arranged to live there by a local clergy member, though they have not been charged.

The mayor vowed to hold the clergy member accountable for endangering the migrants.

“The City of Hammond is not open to this type of illegal criminal activity and [they have] placed people in significant harm, including children,” Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. said.

Similar situations of large numbers of undocumented immigrants living in unsafe, overcrowded basements have been found elsewhere like in New York City, revealing the risks some face with inadequate housing options.

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