Landlords Stripped Of Essential Rights

Photo by todd kent on Unsplash

A new law, slated to be enacted in Illinois at the start of 2024, will prohibit property owners from bias against potential renters due to their immigration status.

The Illinois governor, J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, affixed his signature to SB 1817 in the previous month. The law will extend “defenses in the Illinois Human Rights Act for housing pertaining to immigration status protection and biased advertising.”

Among several legislations that Pritzker ratified last month was another law targeted at granting undocumented immigrants access to state-issued driving licenses. This bill will substitute the current Temporary Visitor Driver’s License with a regular license that has a four-year validity. This is set to affect over 300,000 individuals who are currently in possession of the temporary licenses.

“This legislative action marks a crucial step in dismantling hurdles that many undocumented immigrants face,” Pritzker stated after the signing of the driver’s license law, as reported by Fox 32. “We’re facilitating access to a driver’s license for every eligible person, thereby making our roads safer, diminishing stigma, and crafting more equal systems for everyone.”

The initiative to broaden housing rights for undocumented immigrants was championed by Democratic State Senator Ann Gillespie. She asserted that the bill would ensure that people are not “unduly refused housing.”

“This legislation draws a clear line, safeguarding the rights of immigrants and making sure that financial institutions and service providers refrain from discriminatory behavior,” Gillespie stated in a public announcement last week.

Gillespie also mentioned that the bill would forbid third party loan adjustment service providers from altering their service terms based on immigration status. However, where mandated by law, inquiries into immigration status will continue to be permissible.

“Through this modification, we are demolishing barriers and facilitating opportunities for immigrants to build homes and make meaningful contributions to our communities,” Gillespie stated in the announcement. “A person’s background should not be a disqualification from purchasing or renting a property.”