Multiple States Oppose New Proposed Rule to Deny Housing Assistance to Immigrants

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Housing Sec. Carson

A coalition of 22 states is opposing a new policy proposal to deny housing assistance to mixed-status immigrant families.

In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule requiring the verification of the eligible immigration status of all recipients of housing assistance who are below 62 years old.

The coalition believes that the proposed new rule is harmful to their residents, local economies and public health.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading the coalition in opposing the HUD’s new policy proposal. According to her, “If this rule is enacted, the Trump Administration will once again be tearing families apart, and this time, it won’t be at the border, but in our communities.”

In addition, AG James said, “Threatening to evict tens of thousands of children from their homes and put them on the streets is despicable and reverses decades of standard, well-reasoned federal policy. We will not sit idly by as this administration continues to launch these discriminatory attacks against immigrants and penalize those states that welcome them.”

Thousands of U.S. citizen children will become homeless

In their comment letter, the Attorneys General of the 22 opposing states argued that the HUD’s new policy proposal will make more than 100,000 people including 55,000 children homeless. Many of the children that will be affected by the department’s proposal are U.S. citizens.

The coalition emphasized that the “proposed rule misstates the legislative and regulatory history of Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Ac of 1980.

According to the coalition, the HUD is “mischaracterizing the history of proration of benefits for families with mixed immigration status, preservation assistance and effective dates of the requirements of Section 214.”  It is attempting to depart from “past practice and legislative intent” of the housing law.

HUD’s new proposed rule is arbitrary, capricious, and violates the APA

Here are some of reasons provided by the coalition in opposing the HUD’s new policy proposal include the following:

  • Prior to 1987, Congress and the Courts voided efforts to deem mixed-status families ineligible for housing assistance.
  • The 1987 Act and its implementing regulations ensured continued assistance for mixed-status families.
  • Since 1995, Congress has continued to affirmatively sanction prorating assistance to mixed-status families.
  • The department’s adoption and implementation of the proposed rule will cause harm to the states and private housing providers.
  • The increased cost of the proposed rule will result in higher costs to the states, and will reduce access to subsidized housing programs.
  • New administrative burdens will deter housing providers from participating in subsidized housing programs.
  • The proposed rule will cause serious harm to legal residents and citizens in the states and will impinge on their constitutional rights.
  • The proposed rule conflicts with city and state laws.
  • The proposed rule would, if finalized, violate the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • The department’s failure to consider how the proposed rule will impact city and state social benefits systems, and will create administrative burdens on housing providers is arbitrary and capricious.
  • The department’s underlying reasoning in creating the proposed rule—to prompt Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform—is arbitrary and capricious as it is outside the factors Congress intended the agency to consider when taking regulatory action.