Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu, San Francisco, recently introduced the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act (AB 291), which prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of immigration status. The bill also prohibits landlords from reporting or threatening to report information about their tenant to immigration authorities in order to force the tenant to abandon the housing or otherwise retaliate against the tenant for engaging in legally-protected activities, such as complaining about housing conditions. Immigration advocates state that these same protections already exist in California employment law, so it makes perfect sense to extend them to landlord and tenant law. Although California state law already prevents landlords from asking tenants about their immigration status, some landlords investigate and collect information about tenants whom they believe to be living illegally in the U.S. and ultimately turn it over to immigration authorities. AB 291 would prohibit landlords for providing immigration authorities with immigration status information about these tenants. The goal of the bill is to stop landlords from illegally evicting immigrant tenants in order to take advantage of rising rents to punish them for some perceived wrongdoing. Another feature of AB 291 is that it prohibits attorneys from asking questions about a tenant’s immigration status in discovery or at trial. The measure also prevents attorneys from reporting or threatening to report the immigration status of individuals who are involved in eviction or other housing-related cases. Affordable housing continues to be an issue for California residents, and particularly for the estimated 2.3 million immigrants currently living without a legal immigration status. The state’s housing department has collected data indicating that about one-third of California renters spend at least half of their incomes on housing costs. Restrictions on development have further tightened an already overcrowded market. Eviction is only one of the many issues that undocumented immigrants face on a daily basis. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., pride themselves on aggressively representing the interests of those immigrants who are facing potential deportation by American immigration authorities. Our goal is to gather evidence in your favor, build on a strong case on your behalf, and develop a strategy that is best designed to help you remain in the United States and move on with your life. The earlier we can get started with your case, the more likely you are to prevail in your deportation proceedings. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and learn what we can do to assist you.
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