Immigrant Rights

February 2020: NHLP Condemns Implementation of Public Charge Rule

WASHINGTON, DC/SAN FRANCISCO – On January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to lift a nationwide injunction allowing the “Public Charge” rule’s implementation awaiting other court rulings.  The rule, finalized by the Department of Homeland Security last August, will penalize low- and moderate-income immigrant families based on a prediction that they may use certain federal benefits in the future. The rule will also affect immigrant families that use or qualify for federal housing assistance. The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) worked closely with its partners on the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign opposing this rule, and has several resources on the housing impact of the public charge rule.

“The National Housing Law Project strongly condemns the implementation of the Public Charge rule,” said Shamus Roller, executive director of NHLP.  “This is part of a trend by this administration—a trend of racist, anti-immigrant policies seeking to undo decades of basic civil and human rights policies and laws. Elected officials at all levels must publicly call on the Administration to rescind the Public Charge rule.”

This rule is one of several that the Trump administration is using to undermine decades of civil rights law and policies.  Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a proposed “affirmatively furthering fair housing” rule and, last year, a “disparate impact” rule, both of which attempt to eliminate the core intent of the federal Fair Housing Act.

“This nation is in a housing and homelessness crisis and the Public Charge rule will only make it worse by eliminating basic human decency and dignity,” continued Roller. “It is simply impractical, dangerous, and un-American to penalize immigrants for accessing critical, lifesaving benefits, such as housing assistance. Federal housing assistance allows families to access and maintain safe, affordable, and stable housing that helps them thrive.”

The National Housing Law Project stands united with our partners against the Public Charge rule, which will force immigrants and their families to forego critical assistance, placing millions of families at risk of homelessness.

Contact:  Deidre Swesnik

September 2019: NHLP and Partners File Amicus Brief in Five Cases Opposing the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule

On September 12, the National Housing Law Project along with the Food Research & Action Center, Center for Law and Social Policy, and other groups filed an amicus brief in five cases opposing the Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule. The amicus brief argues that the Public Charge Rule will result in immigrants forgoing crucial public benefits that promote self-sufficiency and that by foregoing benefits, the end result will be greater housing instability, homelessness, hunger and illness. The brief was drafted and filed with the assistance of the law firm of Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP.

NHLP and partners filed the amicus brief in the following cases:

Update: Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who is presiding over the three cases filed in the Northern District of California, did not permit the filing of the amicus briefs in that venue. Judge Hamilton left open the possibility that the briefs could be considered at a later phase of the litigation.

July 2019: NHLP’s Comments Opposing HUD’s Mixed Status Rule

The National Housing Law Project submitted comments this July to oppose HUD’s proposed Mixed Status Families Rule which places over 25,000 families at risk of eviction. View NHLP’s comment letter here. NHLP partnered with NLIHC to create the Keep Families Together campaign to organize opposition against this disastrous proposed rule during the public comment period, which closed July 9, 2019. We’re happy to report that over 28,000 comments were submitted!

May 2019: HUD’s Proposed Noncitizen Rule: Microsite and Resources

On May 10, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would effectively evict thousands of immigrant families legally living in federally subsidized housing, including public housing and Section 8. The proposed rule focuses on ending critical housing assistance for over 25,000 mixed status households, or families comprised of both members who are eligible and ineligible for federal housing assistance because of their immigration status. According to figures provided by HUD, over 55,000 children who are eligible for public and assisted housing would face eviction because they live in mixed status families. Additionally, HUD anticipates that the rule will substantially increase costs by millions of dollars, such that the agency would have “to reduce the quantity and quality of assisted housing” for everyone, not just immigrant families, who accesses lifeline housing subsidies.

Visit our Microsite: Protect Mixed Status Families

NHLP has partnered with NLIHC to create a microsite to help people comment on this disastrous rule. The website features a comment portal where individuals can submit, resources such as our FAQ and Talking Points, and a comment template letter that organizations and individuals can use to help craft their comments. The commenting period closes July 9, 2019, so be sure to visit the microsite and submit your comments A.S.A.P.! VISIT #KEEPFAMILIESTOGETHER MICROSITE


The Trump administration published a proposed rule on May 10 that would prohibit “mixed status” immigrant families from living in public and other subsidized housing. The rule would result in family separations and evictions for certain immigrant families, putting tens of thousands of people and children at increased risk of homelessness.  The National Housing Law Project and National Low Income Housing Coalition are hosting a Twitterstorm on May 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT to oppose this harmful and cruel proposal.

Mixed status families are households that include members who are eligible and others who are ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. Current statute and law allow families to live together in subsidized housing with one or more eligible family members; the housing subsidy is prorated to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance. Under the proposed rule, families with members who are deemed ineligible will be forced to separate from one another or be evicted from their subsidized housing after 18 months or sooner.

Use #KeepFamiliesTogether in your tweets. Sample tweets are below; images can be found at


Contact Karlo Ng at or Arianna Cook-Thajudeen at

April 2019: NHLP Denounces HUD’s Proposed Noncitizen Rule

On April 17, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a proposed rule for Congressional review that would prohibit “mixed status families” from living in public housing and Section 8 programs. The rule would further require all residents under the age of 62 to have their immigration status screened through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE), which is operated by the Department of Homeland Security. Mixed status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. Under a federal law called Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, the housing subsidies of mixed status families are prorated so that ineligible family members do not receive any housing assistance. By providing assistance only to citizens and other eligible immigrants, the law permits members of mixed status families to reside together. HUD claims that the proposed rule is only “enforcing existing law” and is needed “to help trim waitlists.”

Read More +

“Contrary to HUD’s claims, this rule would primarily strip housing assistance from the citizen children of immigrants. It is part of a broader strategy to demonize all immigrants, no matter whom it harms. If the Administration really cared about solving the public housing waiting list crisis, then it would increase funding for federal housing programs,” said NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller. “Instead, the Administration has consistently proposed cutting funding for public and assisted housing.” Adrianne Todman, CEO of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, stated, “…to create a new rule that will disrupt existing tenants and families seems both cruel and unnecessary. And using lengthy waiting lists as the excuse to do so is, frankly, ridiculous. Waiting lists are long not because of undocumented families, but because there is not enough public housing to help all who need it.” This proposed rule comes shortly after the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed “public charge” rule last October that would effectively prohibit immigrant families from accessing critical life-line programs such as healthcare, nutrition, and housing programs. The proposed HUD rule threatens the housing stability of thousands of immigrant families that legally reside in public and Section 8 housing and will further increase the panic, fear, and confusion among immigrant communities. The proposed rule will be reviewed by Congress for 15 days and then published in the Federal Register where the proposed amendments will be available for public comment for 60 days. During this 15-day review period, NHLP urges you to contact your federal legislators to encourage them to oppose the rule by writing letters to HUD.  NHLP will provide additional information when the rule is published.

April 2019: NHLP Public Comment Opposing USCIS Tip Form

December 2019: The National Housing Law Project condemns the Trump Administration’s attempt to punish legal immigrants and their families for accessing critical, lifesaving benefits.

On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially published a proposed rule that would make it easier for certain immigrants to be considered a “public charge” and, therefore denied admission into the country and denied green cards because they access food, nutrition, and housing programs. The rule would drastically change immigration policy by expanding the types of benefits that DHS would consider in a public charge determination to include benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), public housing, and Section 8 housing subsidies. Previously leaked drafts of this policy change have already led many families to drop out of critical food and nutrition programs for their children, and this chilling effect is poised to impact hundreds of thousands of hardworking immigrant households that depend on these programs for survival.

Read More +

  NHLP submitted comments opposing the proposed public charge rule. View NHLP’s comments here. The National Housing Law Project, along with over 300 organizations nationwide, partnered with the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign to help lead the charge against this disastrous proposed rule during the public comment period, which closed December 10, 2018. We’re happy to report that over 216,000 comments were submitted, the vast majority of which oppose the public charge rule. To learn more about the rule and what you can do:

Questions? Contact or