FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 9, 2019
Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-7148
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas, joining a coalition of 23 states, today
submitted 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.
“My number one priority as Attorney General is protecting the safety and welfare of
children in New Mexico, irrespective of their family’s immigration status,” said
Attorney General Balderas. “President Trump continues to attack the safety of children
with anti-immigrant policies, and I will continue to fight him every step of the way.”
For more than thirty 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
undocumented family members who from residing in a subsidized home. If an
undocumented family member is a child, the entire family could become ineligible and
face eviction under the rule.
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. Private housing providers will be far less likely to participate in
subsidized housing programs, leaving States to find additional affordable housing
options and plan for increased rates of evictions and homelessness.
Joining Attorney General Balderas in the letter are the Attorneys General of New York,
the District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois,
Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.