Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong



Proposed Rule Could Leave More Than 55,000 Children Homeless

Attorney General William Tong joined a coalition of 23 states led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine today in submitting a comment letter 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.

"The Trump Administration's continued policy of targeting children and families is cruel and pointless. This discriminatory effort would cause irreparable harm to our communities, would separate countless families, impact children's access to education, and increase homelessness. I stand with the 23 attorneys general across the country in staunch opposition to this rule and will continue to fight to keep families together," said Attorney General Tong.

For more than 30 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 family members who are undocumented from residing in their homes. In many cases, the eligible family members are children, and these minors would not be able to live without their parents, resulting in the effective eviction of entire families.

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 today, 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.

Joining Attorney General Tong, New York Attorney General James, and District of Columbia Attorney General Racine in submitting the comment letter are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
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