Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing backlash after announcing that a lottery for just a few spaces in new homeless shelters will be opened up to illegal immigrants as well.
"For too long, families without access to credit have faced barriers to the affordable housing they need," de Blasio said in a statement.
The former rule asked required a credit check but applicants will be allowed to submit proof of timely rent payments instead under the new rule. Critics said this would allow for illegal aliens to apply as well.
"By allowing New Yorkers to submit rental history instead of credit checks, we are creating a fairer system for all New Yorkers," de Blasio added.
City officials said that the rule change would prevent adversely affecting African-Americans and Hispanics, but admitted that it would make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for the program.
Republican New York state assembly member Nicole Malliotakis slammed the policy change, calling it "ridiculous."
"Another ridiculous move by @BilldeBlasio," Malliotakis said. "There's 60k homeless in #NYC despite record spending."
"He's planning 90 shelters," she added. "But NOW he wants to give our limited affordable housing units to citizens of OTHER countries instead of caring for our own in need."
New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) also excoriated the mayor over the policy change.
"It's just the latest idiotic idea to come out of this administration," Ulrich said.
"The mayor is setting up people to fail and is doing a disservice to New Yorkers who desperately need affordable housing," he concluded.
De Blasio is in the throws of a long-shot presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Here's more on the homeless crisis in NYC:
De Blasio, Cuomo Get Failing Grades For NY's Homeless Problem www.youtube.com