Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and House Democrats Introduce Legislation Blocking Cruel HUD Proposal to Evict Mixed-Immigrant Status Families

May 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H.R. 2763 to block a proposed US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule that targets mixed-immigrant status families for federal housing eviction, including 55,000 children.


“The cruelty of the proposed HUD rule is truly remarkable, even by the standards of this Administration,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. “Secretary Carson has chosen politics over people with the end result of forcing US children to be separated from their families or risk homelessness.”


Congresswoman Garcia continued, “Rather than helping our immigration enforcement efforts, this cruel and shameless proposal by Secretary Carson will significantly harm already impoverished children and pass on significant costs to taxpayers. That is why we are acting now to end this proposal before it can do real harm to our families and communities.”


Reps. Lou Correa (CA-46), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Chuy Garcia (IL-4) have joined as original cosponsors of this legislation and several outside organizations have endorsed the bill.


Congressman Correa said “This Administration continues to produce rules intended on separating families. HUD is continuing this deeply disturbing trend by making it illegal for undocumented individuals to live with family members legally receiving housing benefits. In California, we have the largest number of mixed-status families. HUD’s change forces immigrants’ families to choose between breaking ups their families or living together outside of the law.”


“Secretary Carson’s senseless anti-immigrant proposal is dangerous and cruel,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. “This proposed rule only serves to harm mixed-status families, creates new housing instability in Texas and across the county, and perpetuates the Trump administration’s xenophobic narrative.”


“The Trump Administration continues to find new ways to harass and discriminate against immigrants and working families. At a time when millions in our country struggle to find affordable housing, HUD’s proposal could harm U.S. citizens and immigrants who are entitled to the benefits of public or subsidized housing. The agency in charge of ending homelessness is being used to carryout Trump’s anti-immigrant policies to kick the most vulnerable among us to the curb,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García.


The bill is endorsed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Texas Housers, and the National Housing Law Project.


“The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking, and the harm it would inflict on children, families and communities is severe,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Tens of thousands of deeply poor kids, mostly US citizens, could be evicted and made homeless by this proposal, and – by HUD’s own admission – there would be zero benefit to families on waiting lists. This proposal is another in a long line of attempts by the administration to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country. We will not stand for it.”


Karen Paup, co-director of the Texas Housers said, "Home is a refuge from a day’s work, the place we raise our families, and find stability. HUD’s proposed rule undermines those ideals by threatening to rip mixed-status families apart and put them at risk of homelessness. Sec. Ben Carson is doing this under the guise of protecting vulnerable Americans, but this is the administration’s attempt to divide low-income people and marginalize immigrant families.”


“The National Housing Law Project supports Congresswoman Garcia’s swift and appropriate response to HUD’s proposed rule,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director of the NHLP. “To perpetuate this Administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and polices, Secretary Carson is falsely telling the American people that undocumented immigrants are to blame for our country’s affordable housing crisis, and that somehow this latest act of cruelty will free up crucial housing resources. This is simply untrue, and the real reason for this rule is to advance a xenophobic agenda against immigrants and their families to rally the President’s base.”


“HUD's new proposed regulation would force housing authorities across the nation to serve as an extension of immigration enforcement instead of focusing on our real purpose- to provide safe, quality and affordable housing to low-income families, seniors, veterans and those with disabilities," Houston Housing Authority President and CEO Tory Gunsolley said. "Existing HUD regulations already ensure that undocumented immigrants in mixed-immigrant status families don't receive housing subsidies."


On May 10, 2019 the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed changes to its implementation of Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980.


If implemented, these new documentation requirements would put 76,000 citizens and eligible permanent residents including 55,000 children, who are living in public housing or Section 8 project-based rental (PBRA) assistance or receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) at risk of eviction, homelessness, and family separation despite existing requirements that prevent people with ineligible immigration status from receiving HUD subsidies. 


HUD’s own analysis shows that after implementation the likeliest outcome “would be that HUD would have to reduce the quantity and quality of assisted housing in response to the higher costs.”


# # #

Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent Texas 29th Congressional district.