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July 8, 2019
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and their Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) are urging individuals to contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by July 9 and express concern for a proposed rule that seeks to prevent mixed-status immigrant families from accessing a range of federal public housing programs. If implemented, the rule would make an estimated 25,000 mixed-status families ineligible for HUD's public and specified assisted housing programs, including public housing, home loan programs, and housing choice vouchers.
In a statement , Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, objected that "[The proposed rule] would force these families to make a heartbreaking choice - endure family separation so that eligible members can continue to receive critical housing assistance or stay together and forfeit any such assistance. This choice between unity and stability is one no family should have to make."
In an accompanying statement , Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, explained that "The right to decent, safe, and affordable housing is rooted in the fundamental dignity of every person. By proposing this rule, HUD acknowledges the need for more housing assistance so that people in need won't have to endure long waits for programs that are overwhelmed by demand. More must be done to address housing needs in this country, but it must not be done at the expense of mixed-status families."
The USCCB also submitted a joint comment with Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, urging that HUD withdraw the proposed rule.
To submit a comment, please go to the comment submission website . Feel free to use the USCCB and JFI statements as templates, but your comment must be unique. Consider including a story explaining how this rule impacts you, those you work with, or your fellow parishioners.
To learn more about how to file comments, watch the JFI federal rulemaking webinar . To learn more about the proposed HUD rule, read the JFI backgrounder .
Please act by July 9, 2019!
Thank you for supporting the right to decent, safe, and affordable housing!