Trump Admin Moves Ahead with Plan that Could Leave 55,000 Kids Homeless

“The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking.”

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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On Friday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development officially published its proposed rule to evict undocumented immigrants from public housing. Tens of thousands of children with US citizenship or legal status could be displaced.

“The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking,” Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition said in a statement. “The harm it would inflict on children, families and communities is severe.”

Even though undocumented immigrants aren’t able to access government housing subsidies, mixed-status families in which there is at least one eligible member, like a child with US citizenship, are able to live in public housing. Federal subsidies only cover the eligible member of the household, but undocumented family members may live there as well. The Trump administration’s new rule, however, would require every member of the household to be eligible for federal subsidies—or the entire family faces eviction. According to HUD’s own regulatory impact analysis, this proposal could affect 76,000 people living in public housing—including 55,000 children—and lead to mixed-status families becoming temporarily homeless.

When HUD first proposed the rule last month, the agency said it was necessary to shorten years-long waitlists for American citizens, but in its analysis, the agency did acknowledge that this rule likely will not achieve that goal. The subsidies for mixed-status families are prorated so that they only cover the eligible member of the household. Because of this, those families are paying higher rents than households with occupants who are all American citizens or are legal residents. With the proposed rules, housing costs would increase substantially, because entire families would be eligible for subsidized rent. As HUD says in its analysis, the agency would be forced to reduce the quality and quantity of housing to make up for rising costs. 

“There would be zero benefit to families on waiting lists,” Yentel said. “This proposal is another in a long line of attempts by the [Trump] administration to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country.”

In the analysis of the rule’s impact, HUD strikes an ominous note: “HUD expects the fear of the family being separated would lead to a prompt evacuation by most mixed-status families.” There will now be a 60-day period in which the public can comment on the proposed rule. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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