Hot button issues of the 114th and 115th Congress will come together Tuesday night in the form of Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee’s guest to President Donald Trump’s address in front of a joint session of Congress.
Kildee is taking Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan, who helped to expose the water crisis there. She is the daughter of Iraqi-American scientists and immigrated to the U.S. as a child.
“In Donald Trump’s world, Dr. Mona would not have been there for Flint kids because she’s an Iraqi immigrant,” Kildee said. “In Donald Trump’s world Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha may not have been welcome to the United States.”
Kildee said if it were up to Trump, Hanna-Attisha would “not be the hero to thousands of Flint children.”
Hanna–Attisha helped uncover the lead levels in Flint water and persisted until Gov. Rick Snyder admitted her findings were accurate.
“She’s the person who had the courage to stand up to state officials when they tried to basically discredit her,” the congressman said. “She is the epitome of what it means to be a citizen. She stood up and would not be quiet when she had information.”
Kildee said he and Hanna-Attisha have become good friends and she was helpful last year while he was pushing for legislation to deal with Flint’s water crisis.
Dozens of Democrats this year are making a statement with who they’re taking to the joint session.
Kildee’s message to Trump: “She represents what’s good about America and she represents what is so important about renewing ourselves with people from other places. She’s a hero who wouldn’t have been in a position to be that hero if Donald Trump had his way.”
Immigration has been a consistent theme of the guest list to the joint session this year. Other notables are the 2010 health care law, police-community relations and gun issues.