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Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

* Tribune

Illinois on Wednesday became the second state to prohibit landlords from evicting tenants solely because they’re living in the U.S. illegally.

The measure Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law also prohibits landlords from reporting or threatening to report tenants’ immigration status to authorities in order to intimidate them, or as retaliation for exercising their rights as tenants, or to force them to move out. The legislation was modeled after a similar law in California. […]

Supporters said the new Illinois law was necessary because some landlords use the threat of notifying immigration authorities to keep tenants from reporting unsafe living conditions or other problems. State Sen. Cristina Castro, an Elgin Democrat and chief sponsor of the legislation, said this type of behavior was previously legal under state law. […]

Previous Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed an earlier version of the legislation last August, citing concerns that it conflicted with federal law. The new version was approved this spring with a smattering of GOP support and without formal opposition from real estate groups, which opposed the earlier attempt.

* The Question: Your thoughts on this new law?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Fav human - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Meaningless. The 96 federal law allows anyone to report.

    Trying to find “why” is an exercise in mind reading

  2. - Lake County Mom - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    “Trying to find ‘why’ is exercise in mind reading.”

    It doesn’t matter why. The law gives immigrant tenants the ability to sue landlords who engage in prohibited behavior.

    I’m not well read on this particular law, but what I have read, I don’t see the downside.

  3. - Shall not be infringed - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    @Fav: It’s virtue signaling.

    As an illegal, it’s your right to live in Illinois illegally.

  4. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    A smart landlord will say nothing to the tenant about their immigration status. If he wants them gone, he calls ICE. No threats involved.

  5. - Kevin Highland - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    What is the world coming to when my motive for reporting a crime comes into question and possibly brings a penalty?

  6. - Harvest76 - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    ==It’s virtue signaling.==
    No, its an actual virtue. it’s unfortunate that you believe protecting vulnerable human beings from unscrupulous landlords and predatory behavior is nothing more than signaling. I guess those of us who see this as justice can imagine doing things just for the sake of others in need.

  7. - histprof - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    I agree with Harvest76 here. And its an important point, because there IS virtue signalling and it happens both on the right and on the left.

    You might be led to think that anti-abortion activists have the best interests of children in mind, right? But red states went out of their way to deny children medicaid when it would have cost them next to nothing. And red states routinely ignore the well being of children in any number of ways, from school funding to health care. And what should we say of a Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that for centuries and around the globe protected sexual predation on children.

    Perhaps in their focus on abortion they protest too much? Maybe they virtue signal because they know in their heart of corrupt hearts, that they continue to harm the least of these?

    So let’s be careful with the “virtue signalling” interpretation. Its an important possibility and deserves to be treated with respect.

  8. - Downstate - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    It’s now illegal to report an illegal activity?

    Yikes. We offer more protection to the illegal alien than we do the property owning (and tax paying) landlord.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===tax paying===

    If they are living in an apartment, odds are, illegal or not, they are paying taxes (gas, sales, rent covering part of the property)

    This “taxpayers versus…”… it goes well beyond illegals residing here.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    To the Post,

    Here’s the thing…

    ===solely because===

    … that’s the ball game.

    Solely is doing the heavy lift. Solely. This idea, solely, (no pun intended) at the state level, that the lone reason is this status, yeah, I’m good with it, solely because it’s the state level of laws.

    It makes and keeps things at a federal level, and it’s cleaner.

    If landlords want that option, then feel the need to do it with federal agents, where it should be.

  11. - City Zen - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    Landlords pledge allegiance to the almighty dollar.

  12. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    -Landlords pledge allegiance to the almighty dollar-

    Truest statement I’ve read here today.

  13. - Odysseus - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    “prohibit landlords from evicting tenants solely because they’re living in the U.S. illegally.”

    One of those things that should be pure common sense, but now we need a law because people lack common sense.

  14. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    Read slower Downstate (or ask someone to help you). It doesn’t say you can report tenants to ICE. It says you can’t report, or threaten to report them, as punishment or retaliation for their legitimate complaints about unsafe conditions.

    If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, it is a fairly straightforward process, usually spelled out in the lease agreement and sometimes subject to municipal ordinance. No one is saying you can evict anyone here for any reason, including if it’s because you don’t like somebody who is living in your building.

    If you want to call ICE on them too, this law doesn’t prevent that. Feel free, call away.

    But don’t collect rent and threaten people with ICE just because they ask for a problem in their unit to be fixed. That is what this law is attempting to do.

    Also, if your tenant does happen to be detained by ICE, good luck collecting that rent check next month. I’d fully expect you to sue them too, for the unpaid rent under the lease while they are in ICE custody.

    Nothing in this bill prevents you from being a complete and total %$*&. Slum lords are gonna slum lord.

  15. - K - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    The comments on here make it seem pretty clear that some of you haven’t rented an apartment in some time. Landlords, especially in expensive markets hold amazing power over their tenets.

    -”Pay more in rent, or I will call ICE”
    -”No, I’m not going to fix the heat/AC, if you complain to anyone, I am going to call ICE”
    -”I won’t fix the rodent problem, but I will call ICE if you complain to anyone
    -”I don’t need to give you your deposit back, I’ll just call ICE”

  16. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:38 pm:

    “It doesn’t say you can report tenants to ICE.”

    “No one is saying you can evict anyone here for any reason”

    I meant “can’t” in both. Maybe I should find someone to help me write?

  17. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    I oppose illegal immigration and do not think this is a good law.

    That said, I believe we need to change our laws and process to provide and easier path to legal immigration and citizen ship.

    My in-laws were not wealthy people and paid, what was to them, a kings ransom to become citizens. It took years to become citizens. They are very productive members of our society, as are the overwhelming majority of those who wish to become members of our society.

    We are a nation of immigrants and that is a good things. More people wish to come here than want to eave and that is a good thing as well. I understand why some do it illegally, I would like them to do it legally.

  18. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    Landlords should not be able to threaten anybody with anything. If tenants aren’t paying their rent or are otherwise violating the rental agreement, there are, I’m sure, legal procedures for how the landlord responds, including eviction. Not sure why we need a special law with reference to immigration status. All tenants should be entitled to reasonable protections.

    Why do I suspect that tenant protection laws are not nearly as strong here in Illinois as they are in say California, where I have relatives who are renters.

  19. - SSL - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    As with any other business, there are good and bad actors. This legislation attempts to offer some protection against the bad actors.

    I doubt any illegal immigrants will sleep easier because of it.

  20. - Tim - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 5:08 pm:

    Ridiculous. People in this country illegally do not have the same rights as US citizens.

  21. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 7:31 pm:


    Actually they are protected by the same Constitution you and I are protected by.

  22. - Jacob - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 7:42 pm:

    Landlord here

    I would never ask my tenants for their immigration status. I want them to pay on time and respect my property.

    If I wanted them out, exploiting their immigration status would feel like a cheap move. They lose their right to live in my units when they violate their lease. Their immigration status isn’t a component of that lease.

  23. - 44th - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 8:01 pm:

    Slight problem, isn’t it a big risk for an illegal to show up in court, so no way anyone actually sues? We were at a food pantry last night, a number of the clients were picking up food for illegal aliens because they are too afraid to step outside. Showing up to court seems like a major stretch.

  24. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 8:03 pm:

    So reporting a crime is a crime? Only in Illinois. Ridiculous.

  25. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 8:45 pm:

    Reporting any tenant for a crime shouldn’t be a threat used to excuse bad conditions. Doesn’t matter the crime.

  26. - Token Conservative - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:05 pm:

    When did we become ok with…and begin to encourage…the illegal act of entering and staying in the country either without or past a Visa?

  27. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 6:11 am:

    ==So reporting a crime is a crime?==

    The problem is, ICE will arrest American citizens too. So threatening to call ICE is also a way to manipulate American Citizens and green card holders to tolerate poor living conditions.

    This American citizen was held by ICE for a year.

  28. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 6:34 am:

    Davino Watson, a U.S. citizen, was held by ICE for over three years.

  29. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 6:38 am:

    Also the law doesn’t mention “illegal”. It mentions immigrants. The law is called the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act. As show above legal immigrants also have cause to be fearful of ICE.

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