Los Angeles- The Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to declare its opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to restrict federal housing assistance by immigration status. The resolution, authored by Board Member Kelly Gonez and co-sponsored by Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg and Board Members Mónica García and Nick Melvoin, calls for Los Angeles Unified to submit a formal comment against the proposal with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Once again, the federal government is working to marginalize and actively harm our immigrant children and families,” Board Member Gonez said. “With so many cities across the nation facing an affordable housing crisis, our government should be working to expand assistance, not limiting it.”
“Denying federal housing help to undocumented immigrants would punish our students and their families, and increase the number of children who are homeless,” Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg said.
If the proposed rule change goes forward, some of the poorest families could lose their homes. An estimated 25,000 “mixed-status” households – where at least one of the members is eligible for housing benefits, but others are not – would lose the federal support they rely on, according to HUD’s own data. Since Los Angeles County has the highest number of immigrants in the nation, the communities of Los Angeles Unified are likely to be significantly impacted even as families face the fastest rate of rent inflation in more than a decade.
“We are saddened by the attempt to take away assistance to our most vulnerable population of students and families,” Board Member García said. “This will only increase the number of students experiencing homelessness and housing instability, which in turn impacts their ability to achieve academically. We stand with our immigrant families and urge our leaders in Washington D.C. to do the same.”
“It is especially important in this moment—when our federal government aims to criminalize immigration and destabilize the fabric of our nation—that we reaffirm our promise to stand up for the rights of all our families and communities,” Board Member Melvoin said.
“Students experiencing homelessness suffer significant trauma, which affects their physical and emotional well-being, and their ability to learn,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “It is vital to provide housing stability for students in our schools, and their families.”
“So many of our families already struggle to find stable housing for their families given the high cost of living in Los Angeles,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “Not only would the proposed rule change make things even more challenging for our families, it comes from a place of discrimination and goes against everything we stand for.”
To make a comment on the proposed rule, please visit:https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/10/2019-09566/housing-and-community-development-act-of-1980-verification-of-eligible-status#open-comment