Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson told Breitbart News it is his aim to ensure federal contracting jobs and other economic opportunities go to “our people” and that his agency will cooperate “very much” with the Department of Justice to enforce the U.S.’s immigration laws.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Monday, Carson explained it is past time for American citizens — “our people,” he said — to reap the full benefits of HUD projects.
“What we want to do, obviously, is empower people – that’s a major goal that we have – our people, American citizens. Our programs are aimed at that,” said the secretary.
“Our tremendous emphasis on [the] Section 3 [program], for example – which has been on the books for 50 years – [which says] if you are receiving HUD money you have an obligation to hire people of low income in that area or to train them or to give contracts to them. It’s been largely ignored.”
“We are putting incentives into that to make sure that it is used to develop our people,” Carson added.
Construction is one of the top industries occupied by illegal aliens in the United States. HUD provides billions in taxpayer funds to developers annually, much of it for public housing, which means homes meant for Americans run the risk of not only housing illegal aliens but also being built by them.
“In terms of what is happening with illegals, obviously, we are going to cooperate very much with the Justice Department and with the administration’s push to try to control that,” Carson said.
Federal contractors are required (with some exceptions), by presidential executive order and subsequent federal regulations, to use E-verify — the free, Internet-based system that allows employers to verify the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.
When asked whether he thinks HUD should commit to tying its grants, cooperative agreements, and tax credits also received by developers and businesses to their enrollment in E-verify, Carson replied, “We have to look at all these possibilities.”
“You know, E-verify has been shown to be effective in some places and I think it’s certainly worthy of a close look.”
As for what HUD is doing to ensure illegal immigrants themselves are not receiving housing benefits intended for Americans, Carson responded: “We have an inspection process, an application process that people go through that is supposed to screen that out.”
Amanda House is Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse.