Illinois Becomes Second State to Enact Immigrant Tenant Protection Act

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

On Wednesday morning, Illinois became the second state to enact the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, prohibiting landlords from evicting or striking back against a tenant based on their citizenship or immigration status. “Where you were born has nothing to do with the ability to pay rent on time – which is what the relationship between a landlord and a tenant should really be about,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m proud that in signing this bill, we’re making Illinois the first state in the Midwest to protect our immigrant tenants and give them a little more relief in these tumultuous times. Here in Illinois, we are, and always will be, a welcoming state.”

Landlords are also prohibited intimidating tenants by disclosing or threatening to disclose a tenant’s citizenship or immigration status to any person, entity or immigration or law enforcement agency. If the landlord engages in any prohibited conduct, the tenant may bring a civil action to seek any of the following remedies: actual damages for injury or loss suffered, a civil penalty up to $2,000 for each violation payable to the tenant, reasonable attorney’s fees and other equitable relief as the court may deem appropriate and just. Senate Bill 1290 takes effect immediately. “I am very grateful to Governor Pritzker for being such a steadfast supporter of the immigrant community and signing this bill into law,” said Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago). “Immigrant families in my district and all over Illinois deserve to live free of fear of mistreatment, threats, or eviction because of their immigration status. Immigrants are valuable, contributing members of our state and nation and I am proud to serve as a legislator in Illinois because of my colleagues and our governor we are able to pass immigrant-friendly legislation like the Immigrant Tenants Protection Act and make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation.”

This legislation protects tenants from unscrupulous landlords who unjustly threaten a renter based their immigration status,” said Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum. “While we are living in challenging times, Illinois remains a national leader in being a welcoming state. Thank you, Governor, for ensuring that Illinois remains a state where people can feel safe in their homes and a state where we create just laws.”

“This bill provides important protections for renters. One’s immigration status should not be used as a weapon by a landlord,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “We commend the bill sponsors and the Governor for their efforts to protect immigrant communities.”

“Every person in Illinois who rents an apartment has the right to live free from harassment, and to expect that their landlord will provide a well-maintained home but often time for many immigrants that was not their reality,” said Griselda Vega Samuel, Midwest Regional Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “But after today, with Governor Pritzker signing the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, that will be a reality for all Illinoisans, regardless of immigration status.  MALDEF thanks the Governor for continuing to protect the most vulnerable communities and look forward to continuing to ensure all Latino and immigrant communities live free of fear and intimidation.”

Comments are closed.