A plan proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to end housing for undocumented immigrants and could thus end up displacing more than 55,000 children who are American citizens or legal residents.

The department framed the plan as a means to cut waiting lists for U.S. citizens who seek subsidized housing. Secretary Ben Carson briefly explained the supposed benefits of the plan in a tweet on Friday.


Under current law, HUD can’t allot financial aid to undocumented migrants. However, a “mixed-status family” — where some members are U.S. citizens or legal residents and others are not — can reportedly earn pro-rated housing aid it at least one member is an eligible citizen.

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According to the department, approximately 25,000 families residing in subsidized housing have at least one ineligible member.

“This proposed rule is another despicable action by the Trump Administration to disrupt communities and separate families,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the top Democrat on the Banking Committee.

“If Secretary Carson and this White House really wanted to address housing needs, they would not have slashed affordable housing in their budget,” Brown added.

Approximately one year ago, President Donald Trumps administration began enforcing a “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal immigration that resulted in hundreds of immigrant families being separated at the southern border, while migrant children were held in detention centers and forced to defend themselves in court without proper legal representation. Since then, Trump has fired Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not being enough of a hard-liner on the issue and replaced her on an interim basis last month with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.