Friday, May 10, 2019


As part of their crackdown on non-citizens living in the United States, the Trump administration has proposed a rule that would kick 55,000 children, who are legal residents or U.S. citizens, out of their homes. The number comes from the president’s own analysis. 

The proposed rule change, published in the federal registry by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Friday, would tighten regulations around immigration status and access to public housing. The plan would require all current residents of public housing to prove their legal immigration status, and face eviction if they can’t. In the past, non-citizens were able to live in public housing so long as a citizen was on the lease, the rule change ends that. All members of a household will now need "eligible immigrant status." 

There are currently about 25,000 households and 108,000 people living in subsidized housing who could be affected by this rule. About 55,000 of those living in mixed-citizen households are children, according to HUD analysis. The majority of those children live in New York, Texas and California. 

“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households,” said the agency’s analysis, according to The Washington Post. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing.” 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson justified the changes by saying that there were long waiting lists of U.S. citizens who should be prioritized. “By working together we can make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” he tweeted last month. 

But public housing resources are already only allocated to U.S. citizens. "Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or immigrants with certain immigration statuses are already ineligible for housing assistance,” explained Center on Budget and Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein in a statement. “If a household includes some eligible and some ineligible individuals, housing assistance is prorated so that only citizens and eligible immigrants whose status has been verified by the Department of Homeland Security receive assistance.” 

The rule would work to punish citizens for living with non-citizens, said Greenstein. “Tens of thousands of citizens and eligible immigrants would lose their homes; thousands of others would have to choose between separating from their loved ones and losing their homes,” he wrote. “All of the individuals newly barred from receiving housing assistance would be U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants, and a substantial majority of these would be children.” 

The change is the brainchild of Stephen Miller who has long pushed to limit public resources for immigrants, according toThe Post. President Donald Trump has long argued that asylum seekers are lying about their status in order to enter the United States and use public resources. 

“Asylum, you know I look at some of these asylum people, they’re gang members. They’re not afraid of anything,” the president said while visiting the border last month. “And they say ‘I fear for my life,’ they’re the ones causing fear for life. It’s a scam, it’s a hoax.” 

Nicole Goodkind is a political reporter at Newsweek. You can reach her on Twitter @NicoleGoodkind or by email,

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