A year after President Donald Trump announced his plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, new data shows that most states have no plans to house the estimated 9.4 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, despite Trump’s repeated assertions that he would do so.
A new report released by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit think tank, found that states have reported having no plans for housing undocumented immigrants since February 1, 2018.
“I would love to see a plan that is a lot more aggressive,” said Daniel Tuch, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the report.
“But the facts speak for themselves.”
The new report, which uses census data from the National Household Survey (NHS), the most comprehensive national survey of US households, showed that just over two-thirds of the states with the largest populations reported no plans, with about 40% reporting no plans and just over a third of the remaining states reporting no plan.
“We need to be very careful about saying that there is no plan for this,” said Tuch.
“It’s not going to be that way.”
States that had no plans include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
States that reported plans include Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia.
In addition, just over half of the small states that reported no plan reported plans to take in unaccompanied minors.
The report’s authors also found that while there were only about 200,000 people living in federally subsidized housing, there were at least 4.2 million people living on federal assistance and 2.5 million on Medicaid.
“In order to get to 4.5m, we’re going to need a lot of people,” said Dan Stein, director of policy at the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based think tank.
“And the people who will be able to pay are people who can afford to live in housing that has access to food, health care, and basic services.”
Stein pointed to the “bargain basement” of New York City as a key example of the low level of affordability in many areas.
“A lot of these places have really high vacancy rates,” he said.
“So, in order to build affordable housing, you need a pretty good mix of people.”
While the housing situation has improved in recent months, Stein said that he believes that the problem will only worsen in the years ahead.
“The way I see it, we are just going to have to continue to work to find ways to make the housing market work for people, to get more people into the housing,” he told Al Jazeera.
The findings come at a time when the White House has been trying to build momentum for a border wall to be built in Texas, where President Donald J. Trump campaigned for the November 6 election.
Trump has promised to build the wall along the southern border of the US and in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
He has also pledged to deport all 11 million undocumented migrants living in this country.
He also has proposed an $8.6 billion spending plan for his administration.
While the plan has been met with opposition from Republicans, Trump has made a few moves in recent weeks, including a call on the federal government to spend $1.6 trillion for border security.