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The Trump administration’s cruel willingness to separate immigrant families continues.

A proposed rule change by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would bar families with even one undocumented member from living in subsidized housing.

Current rules prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving federal subsidies. But they do allow “mixed-status families” with at least one eligible member to live in subsidized housing.

The subsidized rent is pro-rated. Families including undocumented immigrants pay proportionally more.

Under the proposed rule, mixed-status families would have to choose between losing their homes or breaking up their families.

The department estimates the change would affect more than 100,000 people nationwide, about 55,000 of them children.

Consider this plausible situation: B. is an undocumented immigrant living in public housing. She has two children, both U.S. citizens born in the U.S. Her father, also undocumented, lives with them.

Neither B. nor her father have applied for a subsidy. They pay the full rate. Rent is pro-rated so subsidies cover only the children.

What’s wrong with this situation that needs correction at the cost of eviction and/or family breakup?

As Champaign County Public Housing Executive Director David Northern Sr. said in a June 29 News-Gazette article: “Family unity should be considered a fundamental value and component of our immigration system.”

The Trump administration’s cruel proposal is open for public comment through July 9 at regulations.gov/document?D=HUD-2019-0044-0001. Please voice your objection.

JOHN PALEN

Urbana

News-Gazette