Stephen Miller will never big people face to match his big-and-tall head, and is determined to take his anger out on the most vulnerable among us. After months of pushing the Trump administration to penalize immigrants—legal and undocumented alike—in myriad ways, Miller seems to be getting his wish with a little help from Ben Carson.
Thanks to a proposed rule intended to prevent undocumented migrants from receiving federal housing benefits from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an additional wave of legal residents and citizens, 55,000 of them children, could be displaced from their homes.
Published Friday, the proposal would prohibit families in which at least one member is undocumented from obtaining subsidies housing, according to the New York Times. The administration is pushing the changes to ensure subsidized housing is awarded only to verified citizens, a move made without the knowledge of many officials wishing the department itself, the Times reports.
The proposal is a direct departure from current rules, which bar undocumented migrants from housing subsidies while allowing mies-status families to live in subsidized housing as long as one member of the family is a legal resident or citizen. HUD reports that more than 108,000 people currently receiving benefits are in a household with at least one undocumented migrant.
While the rule would allow families to stay in their current homes without the federal subsidies, experts believe many would be unlikely to do so, as the fear of a family separation would likely drive an entire family to vacate as a group.
“HUD assumes that most mixed households will leave HUD’s assisted housing as a result of this rule,” said analysis by career department officials, which added HUD “expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households, whether that fear is justified.”
Trump administration held up the long waits for subsidized housing, commenting that the rule would open spots to citizens waiting for affordable housing.
In a statement, Ben Carson said HUD was “putting America’s most vulnerable first,” adding that “hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on wait lists to get housing assistance.”
Douglas Rice, a senior policy analyst at a nonpartisan think tank told the Times that the proposal “reverses a very sensible policy that’s been in place for more than two decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations.” Rice says the rule would do “nothing to address the affordable housing crisis that exists. In fact, the rule will take assistance away from one set of eligible U.S. citizens and immigrants and give it to another. So there’s really no net gain.”
The rule, which would also require eligible residents under 62 to provide proof of legal status, was called “callous” by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president Kristen Clarke.
“This is part of a longstanding pattern with this administration of instituting anti-immigrant policies, this one is particularly callous because it will no doubt result in children being rendered homeless.”