New México Attorney General, Hector Balderas, joined a coalition of 23 states, in submitting a comment letter on July 9th, to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) opposing a new rule proposal that would deny housing assistance to mixed-status families that include any undocumented immigrants. The new proposal would result in the eviction of thousands of families, including many children and lawful residents and citizens, who rely on housing assistance for their homes. If enacted, the Proposed Rule will harm the States, their residents, their local economies, and the public health.
“My number one priority as Attorney General is protecting the safety and welfare of children in New México, irrespective of their family’s immigration status,” said Attorney General Balderas. “President Trump continues to attack the safety of children with anti-immigrant policies, and I will continue to fight him every step of the way.”
For more than thirty years, laws governing public housing and HUD rules have prioritized family unity and the preservation of the family unit. Accordingly, the law has for decades allowed families with mixed immigration status to receive public housing subsidies, so long as ineligible family members did not themselves receive any financial subsidies. The new proposal, announced in April 2019, would prohibit undocumented family members who from residing in a subsidized home. If an undocumented family member is a child, the entire family could become ineligible and face eviction under the rule.
“My number one priority as Attorney General is protecting the safety and welfare of children in New México, irrespective of their family’s immigration status.”
Hector Balderas, NM Attorney General
As the Department’s own analysis concludes, the Proposed Rule would eliminate housing assistance for more than 108,000 people, including at least 55,000 children, many of whom are U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for housing assistance.
In the comment letter submitted on July 9th, the attorneys general argue that this substantial loss of housing benefits will also cause significant economic and social harms to the States, including greater homelessness, reduced productivity, and a higher incidence of significant health problems.
States will have to bear significant administrative and social benefit costs if the rule goes into effect. Private housing providers will be far less likely to participate in subsidized housing programs, leaving States to find additional affordable housing options and plan for increased rates of evictions and homelessness.
Joining Attorney General Balderas in the letter are the Attorneys General of New York, the District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
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