By Chris Riotta, The Independent
Donald Trump’s administration has acknowledged a new plan to purge undocumented immigrants from receiving forms of housing assistance would likely force thousands of children living in the US legally into homelessness.
The department of housing and urban development released an analysis of the impact a new policy would have on current recipients of public housing, after officials unveiled a plan to restrict all undocumented immigrants from receiving federal subsidies for housing.
While undocumented immigrants living in family units where at least one person is living in the US legally — including a child — can currently receive public housing assistance, the new guidelines would tighten those regulations to ban all families consisting of undocumented immigrants.
Under the new guidelines, nearly 108,000 people could stand to lose housing benefits, including 55,000 children who live in the country legally, according to the HUD analysis.
In a statement released last month, housing secretary Ben Carson said the new plan would “make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it”.
The new proposal would impact approximately 25,000 households, according to the agency’s estimates, and revoke benefits for nearly 76,000 people in total who are living in the country legally.
The agency acknowledges the plan could lead to “temporary homelessness” for impacted families, while suggesting it would serve as an effective deterrent policy to limit undocumented immigration in the US.
“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households,” the analysis read. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing.”
Immigrants and housing rights groups decried the new policy proposal, pushed by White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and published Friday in the federal register, saying it would make people “much more afraid” about accessing benefits.
“This is going to make people much more afraid because they are going to think they will not be able to get a green card or citizenship if they access benefits,” Susan Popkin, a housing expert at the Urban Institute, told the Washington Post.
She added: “It’s really going to affect people who are legally eligible for housing but who are now afraid to ask for help.”