The Trump administration is ramping up its war on illegal immigration by cracking down on federally subsidized housing that has been accessible to illegals – whose participation in the program has made it unavailable to needy United States citizens.
A new “opportunity zones” program for American citizens has been introduced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it was devised to boost economic growth in distressed areas by making public housing available to qualified applicants.
“The rule, proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and posted in the Federal Register, would require that those seeking public housing would be subject to verification of their immigration status,” Fox News reported. “Only families in which every member is either a citizen or a legal resident would qualify for federally subsidized housing. Currently, families where at least one person is either a citizen or green card holder can get federal assistance – even if other family members are not.”
No more freebies for illegals …
Under the new rule, current participants in the federal program who did not previously verify their eligibility would be required to show that proof at their next evaluation that assesses their need for public assistance.
“[Regulations] presently excuse individuals from submitting documentation if they do not contend to having eligible immigration status,” the Trump administration explained, according to Fox. “This results in no actual determination of immigration status being made.”
Two major changes to HUD’s regulations – implementing section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 – would be made under the newly proposed rule.
“Section 214 prohibits the Secretary of HUD from making financial assistance available to persons other than United States citizens or certain categories of eligible noncitizens in HUD's public and specified assisted housing programs,” the Federal Register summarized in its course of action document. “The proposed rule would require the verification of the eligible immigration status of all recipients of assistance under a covered program who are under the age of 62.”
The additions seek to keep illegals from manipulating or taking advantage of loopholes in the system.
“As a result, the proposed rule would make prorated assistance a temporary condition pending verification of eligible status – as opposed to under the current regulation where it could continue indefinitely,” the summary continues. “The proposed rule would also specify that individuals who are not in eligible immigration status may not serve as the leaseholde – even as part of a mixed family whose assistance is prorated based on the percentage of members with eligible status.”
HUD said Trump’s plan to purge undocumented immigrants out of public housing would possibly displace in excess of 55,000 children who are considered legal U.S. residents or citizens, but HUD Secretary Ben Carson made it clear that the tightened regulations keeping their undocumented immigrant parents from accessing federally subsidized housing will make it available to legal families who would otherwise be denied – due to illegal immigration.
“[The proposed rule will] make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” Carson stressed last month, according to the Washington Post.
Illegals’ families taking housing from U.S. citizens in need will become more of an exception than a rule under the newly proposed rule.
“Undocumented immigrants may no longer sign the leases of subsidized housing – even if their children are entitled to prorated benefits – [as] approximately 25,000 households (representing about 108,000 people) now living in subsidized housing have at least one ineligible member, according to the HUD analysis,” the Washington Post informed. “Among these mixed-status households, 70 percent, or 76,000 people, are legally eligible for benefits – of whom 55,000 are children, HUD says. The vast majority live in California, Texas and New York.”
Some unfortunate consequences could result as U.S. citizens in need will be able to get off the streets – once illegals are no longer able to displace them from the assistance program.
“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households,” the agency’s analysis stated, as quoted by the Post. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household – if they are unable to find alternative housing.”
Helping citizens first
Carson contends that the proposal keeps illegal immigrants from limiting assistance that would otherwise be received by “legitimate American citizens” in need.
“We have a long list of people … we can only serve right now one in four of the people who are looking for assistance from the government," former Republican presidential candidate Carson told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney. “So obviously, we want to get those people taken care of – and we also want to abide by the laws.”
Last month, an official for the Trump administration emphasized that “we need to take care of out citizens” first and foremost.
“Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens,” the White House official told The Daily Caller. “As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime."
However, one problem was detected in the new plan.
“[T]he HUD analysis reportedly found that that the rule could cost up to an additional $227 million a year because mixed-status families would then receive higher subsidies,” Fox News’ Adam Shaw noted.
Opposition from pro-immigration Dems
Holding true to their open borders pro-immigration agenda, 13 Democratic representatives from New York state serving in Congress wrote to Carson in protest of the Trump administration’s proposed changes.
“[We believe the proposed rule would fail to advance any meaningful policy benefit, but it would needlessly inflict hardship on thousands of working families, seniors and others,” the House Democrats’ letter to Carson reads. “We ask the agency to withdraw this rule. Under no circumstances should it be adopted in its current form.”
The pro-open-borders lawmakers kept familes of illegals in mind while not mentioning the families of U.S. citizens they are displacing from living in the much-needed housing.
“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," the House Democrats claim in their letter.
Even tougher on immigration …
It was disclosed earlier this month that the Trump administration took into consideration another policy to help curb illegal immigration.
“The Trump administration is considering reversing long-standing policy to make it easier to deport U.S. legal permanent residents who have used public benefits – part of an effort to restrict immigration by low-income people,” Reuters announced May 3. “A Department of Justice draft regulation … dramatically expands the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use benefits.”
The change would no longer let so many illegal immigrants slip through the cracks and deplete resources before U.S. citizens can access them.
“Currently, those legal permanent residents who are declared to be a ‘public charge,’ or primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, can be deported – but in practice, this is very rare,” Reuters’ Yeganeh Torbati recounted. “The draft regulation would use a more expansive definition to include some immigrants who have used an array of public benefits, including cash welfare, food stamps, housing aid or Medicaid.”
Newly appointed U.S. Attorney General William Barr would need to sign off on the plan before it goes into effect, but before any of this takes place, the plan could be revised while it is subject to public comment.
As it stands, people currently receiving various benefits would be affected.
“A draft regulation, which is still subject to change, would reportedly allow for the deportation of some permanent residents who have used certain public benefits within five years of admission into the U.S.,” Shaw pointed out.
Several of the programs under scrutiny were listed off.
“The public benefits in question include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), given to disabled and older people; the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps; Section 8 housing vouchers; many Medicaid benefits; and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a cash assistance program,” Torbati noted.