Lawmakers Denounce Proposed Mixed-Status Rule for Immigrant Families that Would Lead to Family Separations and Evictions

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.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) sent a letter signed by 20 other lawmakers to HUD Secretary Ben Carson demanding he withdraw the rule.

The letter states in part:

“If implemented, this rule would put tens of thousands of families who are living in public housing or Section 8 project-based rental (PBRA) assistance or receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) at risk of eviction, homelessness, and family separation despite existing requirements that prevent people with ineligible immigration status from receiving HUD subsidies. We urge you to immediately withdraw this proposed rule. This proposed rule is yet another proposal from HUD under your leadership that fundamentally contradicts the agency’s mission ‘to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.’ This cruel and needless targeting of struggling immigrant families only contributes to historic patterns of inequality, which ultimately hinder the U.S. housing market and American economy.”

Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) led another letter, signed by members of the New York City congressional delegation, that also demanded HUD withdraw the proposed rule. The letter reads in part:

“The retroactive nature of the proposed rule’s provisions is likely to exacerbate homeless[ness] across the country since heads of households, spouses and other current tenants would be forced to meet new criteria that were not in force during the time of their original lease or provision of benefits. Your approach represents a major shift from current HUD policy, and by design makes it more difficult for families to have access to assistance for which they would otherwise be eligible.”

Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tweeted, “If Secretary Carson and this White House really wanted to address housing needs, they wouldn't have slashed affordable housing in their budget.”