New York lawmakers are pushing back at what they see as the Trump administration's new family separation policy for public housing.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced last month that he was ratcheting up paperwork requirements to prove legal residence in the country, and ending a policy that allows legal residents to let close, undocumented relatives live with them.
Under the old rules, a family just had to tell the government if one of its members was not eligible for assistance, and benefits for that person would be cut.
Under the proposed rule, all members would have to prove legal residence. Having an undocumented parent or spouse would mean not just losing some benefits, but losing a home or forcing people who can’t prove residency to leave their families.
"The Trump Administration’s policy of separating families at the border has been soundly rejected by the American people as heartless, cruel and inhumane,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who drafted a letter to Carson Friday signed by most of the city’s representatives.
“Now, it appears Trump’s HUD would separate immigrant families who use affordable housing benefits or even cause thousands of them to become homeless," Velazquez said.
When HUD announced the policy proposal, it estimated that some 32,000 families would be pushed out of public housing, which Carson cheered on Twitter as a step to help other Americans.
“Thanks to [President Trump’s] leadership, we are putting America’s most vulnerable first,” Carson tweeted. “Our nation faces affordable housing challenges and hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on waitlists to get housing assistance.” Read more