LA Looking to Prohibit Landlords From Checking Immigration Status

A L-A City Council committee has moved forward on an ordinance that would prohibit landlords from checking the immigration status of their tenants. Councilman Gil Cedillo says adding more potential barriers to housing will make the affordability crisis worse.

"We have rules in the city of Los Angeles that Govern landlord-tenant relationships and we do not want for that small percent of landlords to try and abuse someones immigration status so that they can take advantage of them." 

Gil Cedillo says the measure is meant to shield tenants from landlords who could use threats to extort higher rent or other concessions. The measure would also make it illegal to forward known immigration status to another person or agency, like ICE.

"There are not the law enforcement, they have no authority to do that. They are not ICE, they have no authority to engage in ICE's activities."

"We don't want that to happen and we make sure and we're very clear that that is not an acceptable policy or practice in the city of LA."

Cedillo says the measures sits at the intersection of two big issues - immigration and housing affordability. 

"We have a challenge in Los Angeles. We have a need for housing, we need to build housing." 

If the measure passes the full council then landlords could face fines and jail time for looking into a tenant's immigration status. The council will vote once the city attorney's office finishes reviewing the ordinance.

"We do not want them to exploit ones immigration status for some advantage and that's unacceptable for us, it's disruptive, and it does not build community."

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