Trump’s administration is taking the first steps to prevent illegal immigrant families from living in public housing to free up space for American citizens currently on the waiting lists.
The Washington Times reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says that around 32,000 families living in public housing are held by undocumented adults.
Housing and Urban Development officials notified the Congress that the department is researching methods that would close loopholes allowing illegal immigrant families to hold down taxpayer-funded housing while Americans sit on housing waiting lists. Currently, a Clinton-era rule allows anyone to file for public housing without disclosing their legal status in America.
This rule change in pending, would force families that are living in public housing to verify their U.S. citizenship by being crosschecked against the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database — a system that is currently used to prevent illegal immigrants from collecting other forms of welfare.
In addition, the Clinton-era rules are allowing families to stay in public housing as long as one member of the family is an American citizen, even if that person is a newborn. The Trump administration policy change would require that the head of the family is a legal U.S. citizen.
A HUD official policy change to the Washington Times, stating: “We’ve got our own people to house and need to take care of our citizens. Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.”
So far, these are HUD’s first steps in implementing this rule change by notifying Congress. They still have to open the policy up for review and public comment, as the implementation would take place in late summer, at the earliest, under the direction of Secretary Ben Carson.