NEW YORK -- Democratic members of Congress from New York called Friday for federal housing officials to withdraw a new rule that could kick tens of thousands of immigrants out of subsidized housing.
The Congress members said in a letter to federal Housing Secretary Ben Carson that the rule proposed Friday would "needlessly inflict hardship" on thousands of families.
Under current rules, families that include some members who are in the United States legally and some who are not can qualify for federally subsidized housing. The subsidy is prorated to cover only the legal residents.
Under the proposed rule, which was published Friday in the Federal Register, only families in which every member is a citizen or legal resident would qualify for subsidized housing.
The letter signed by 13 members of Congress said the proposed rule could make 22,000 to 25,000 families homeless or tear families apart.
The Congress members including Nydia Velazquez, Jerry Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries said that budget limitations of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development "should not be used as an excuse to cruelly punish hardworking families and some of our most vulnerable neighbors."
HUD representatives did not immediately return an email seeking comment.