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Trump Administration Publishes Proposed “Mixed-Status” Rule that Would Lead to Family Separations and Evictions for Certain Immigrant Families

HUD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on May 10 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. More than 25 organizations joined NLIHC in a joint press statement condemning the proposed rule as cruel and doing nothing to alleviate the nation’s affordable housing crisis. Advocates have until July 9 to submit comments to HUD. NLIHC and our partners will provide resources to help advocates oppose the rule.

Under current statute and regulation, mixed-status families - those that include members who are eligible and others who are ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status - are permitted to live together in subsidized housing. The housing subsidy for such households is prorated to exclude the ineligible individual(s) from the assistance. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylum seekers are eligible to receive housing assistance. Importantly, just because a household member is an “ineligible” immigrant, they are not necessarily undocumented. Immigrants can have legal status and still not be eligible to receive housing assistance. Residents can declare themselves ineligible without being required to reveal their immigration status.

The proposed rule would prohibit mixed-status families from living in public and other subsidized housing. Such families will be evicted from their subsidized housing after 18 months or sooner. HUD estimates there are 25,000 families of mixed-immigration status receiving housing assistance, the majority of whom live in New York, California, and Texas. HUD states that the proposed rule could displace more than 55,000 children, all of whom are legal U.S. residents or citizens, and would force housing providers to provide less rental assistance to people in need.

Under the proposed rule, individuals who are not verified as having an eligible immigration status may not be the head of a household or the spouse of the head of the household. HUD also proposes to require that the eligible immigration status of all members of a family under the age of 62 be verified through the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE). The existing regulation excuses a family member from submitting documentation regarding their status. 

The proposal would also threaten housing assistance for millions of households that remain eligible for assistance and consist only of U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants. It would require tens of thousands of housing agencies and private property owners to collect documents “proving” the citizenship of more than 9 million assisted residents who have already attested, under penalty of perjury, that they are U.S. citizens, as well as the citizenship of future applicants for assistance. And it would require some 120,000 elderly immigrants to submit documents indicating their status. If individuals are unable to produce these documents in the timeframe permitted, they can lose their housing assistance and, in turn, their homes.

Read the rule at: https://bit.ly/2YlhauI

Read HUD’s analysis of the impacts of the proposed rule at: https://bit.ly/2HcddT4

Read the joint press statement by advocates opposing the rule at: https://bit.ly/2Vqp2xX