California Bill Would Ban Landlords from Reporting Tenant's Immigration Status

Friday, May 26, 2017
Anthony Cave
ABC (Sacramento)

A new bill in the state Legislature would make sure that landlords cannot use their tenant's immigration status against them.

AB 291, which has already passed in the state Assembly, would ban landlords from reporting their tenant's immigration status to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Moreover, under the legislation, a landlord could not threaten to disclose a tenant's immigration status to evict them from the property either.

Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who introduced the bill, said he has heard stories across the state of landlords threatening undocumented immigrant tenants with deportation.

"There have been some unscrupulous landlords who have threatened to call ICE on tenants when they're trying to evict them, raise their rents or not deal with habitability or housing conditions in their units," Chiu said.

Debra Carlton, a spokeswoman with the California Apartment Association, said landlords needs to do their job.

"I think that certainly what landlords need to be in the business of is renting to tenants, not finding people to report them to immigration authorities," Carlton said.

The legislation is expected to be heard in the state Senate in June.

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