Lawmakers Pressure HUD to Rescind Proposed Rule for Immigrant Families

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate denounced a new rule proposed by the Trump Administration that would lead to thousands of “mixed-status” immigrant families that have members who are undocumented or otherwise ineligible for public and other subsidized housing to split up or be evicted, putting them at high risk of homelessness. It’s estimated that the controversial proposal could displace 55,000 American children from public housing.

Twenty House Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson in advance of a hearing. The proposal to prevent undocumented immigrants from living in federally subsidized housing is “consistent with the Trump administration’s previous egregious attempts to intimidate immigrant communities, separate families, and undermine American values,” House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and her colleagues wrote. The rule “fundamentally contradicts the agency’s mission ‘to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all,’” they added.

Carson is due to appear before the committee for a hearing on oversight of his agency on May 21.

Under the current rules, a so-called mixed-status family — with both citizen and noncitizen members — can receive prorated housing aid if one of the members is an eligible citizen. About 25,000 families now living in federally subsidized housing have an ineligible member, according to HUD. “Prorated rent ensures that the family members who are eligible can receive the housing they need while not also receiving a subsidy for the non-qualifying family member,” Waters and her colleagues wrote. “It also preserves family integrity by allowing mixed status families to live together under the same roof.”

The new rule would require every member of a family receiving aid to be an eligible citizen.