By Dan Petrella
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.
“Where you were born has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to pay rent on time, which is what the relationship between a landlord and a tenant should really be about,” Pritzker said. “And I’m proud that by 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.”
Pritzker used the signing ceremony at the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop to continue his criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. He blasted recent White House efforts to make it more difficult for immigrants who use public benefits to get green cards and a proposal unveiled Wednesday morning that would allow families that cross the border illegally to be detained indefinitely. The Trump administration has said those policies are necessary to enforce the immigration laws established by Congress.
The governor said he wants Illinois to stand as a “firewall” against a “xenophobic president” who is creating “a climate of fear.”