HUD moves to close loophole allowing illegal immigrants to receive public housing aid

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The generous welfare benefits available in the U.S. are a major draw for legal immigrants and refugees and, combined with a lack of security at the U.S.-Mexico border, serve as a powerful magnet for illegal immigrants as well.

But at least one blinking “free stuff” sign is about to be turned off — the taxpayer-subsidized public housing program, which is run by Secretary Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Closing loopholes

HUD proposed a new rule last week that would more explicitly prohibit illegal and ineligible aliens from receiving federal public housing assistance.

Currently, Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act prohibits illegal aliens and other ineligible non-citizens from receiving such assistance from taxpayers. Unfortunately, loopholes in the law have been exploited, such as through “mixed family” households that include both U.S. citizens and illegal aliens.

HUD’s new rule would bar any household from receiving public housing assistance if any member of the family were found to be ineligible to receive such benefits, even if that ineligible family member was not the head of household or the direct recipient.

New crackdown

HUD estimates that tens of thousands of assistance-receiving households are headed by non-citizens.

That isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself. The law makes clear that certain non-citizens — specifically legal permanent residents and those granted asylum — are permitted to apply for and receive housing subsidies.

The problem stems from “mixed family” households that include ineligible non-citizens — like illegal immigrants. HUD’s new proposed rule seeks to stop that.

Under the new proposal, undocumented persons found to be living in public housing under the program would be given up to 18 months to relocate, an unnamed Trump administration official told the New York Times.

HUD officials plan to utilize the SAVE program — Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements — to screen households for compliance with the rule.

Take care of American citizens

According to HUD, millions of American citizens — tens of thousands of whom are homeless — languish on waiting lists for federal housing assistance that is in short supply due to limited resources.

An unnamed Trump administration official told The Daily Caller, “We’ve got our own people to house and we 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,” the official added.

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