HAVING FAILED to effectuate migrant family separation on a mass scale last year, the Trump administration has settled on a new scheme to torment struggling migrant families — this time by threatening to take children who are U.S. citizens from their parents who are not. The proposal — call it Family Separation 2.0 — targets households of mixed-immigration-status families who receive federal housing subsidies. Under a proposed rule pushed by the White House, those families would be ineligible for housing assistance if just one member, including a parent or guardian, lacked documents.
That would leave mixed-status families with the choice of breaking apart or becoming homeless. Legal residents could remain in their homes as undocumented members were evicted. More likely, according to an analysis by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, families would opt to vacate — and in many cases be left homeless. Ironically, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, whose mission includes combating homelessness, signed off on the proposal, even as his own department warned of the effects.
According to a study by the Migration Policy Institute, there were 5.1 million children under 18 living in the United States with at least one undocumented parent during 2009 to 2013. About 4.1 million of them, nearly 80 percent, were U.S. citizens, and many were in economically disadvantaged households.