Trump to Enforce Housing Aid Ban for Illegal Immigrants
. By Philip Wegmann – RCP StaffApril 17, 2019
Trump to Enforce Housing Aid Ban for Illegal ImmigrantsAP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File
The Trump administration will soon release new regulatory changes aimed at ensuring that federal housing assistance goes to qualifying citizens and legal residents, not illegal immigrants.
Sources familiar with the proposal told RealClearPolitics that the updated rule is meant to bring the Department of Housing and Urban Development into closer compliance with existing law.
While Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act prohibits HUD from making financial assistance available to anyone other than citizens or legal residents, the administration contends that a loophole allows ineligible residents to skirt the law. Sources told RCP that a single legal resident can apply for assistance and then use the benefit to house illegal immigrants.
The rule would require HUD to verify the legal status of applicants with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through a program called the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. Officials described it as a sort of E-Verify for entitlements.
It could go into effect as early as this summer.
The regulatory fix comes at a moment when millions of Americans are waiting on housing assistance. According to HUD estimates, three of every four families who qualify do not receive help paying their rent, and in many places demand far outstrips supply.
A national survey conducted by the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corp. found that in 2013 waiting lists had been closed for more than two years by 41 percent of public housing agencies across the country. According to a separate 2016 analysis of federal data by the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average wait time is over three years.