OAN Roy Francis
Updated 8:14 AM – Thursday, July 13, 2023
A new Illinois law will require landlords to rent or sell property to undocumented migrants, adding immigration status to the list of protected classes in the Illinois Human Rights Act.
SB1817 was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) last month and is set to go into effect at the beginning of 2024. The law will add “protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act for housing regarding immigration status protection.”
According to The Center Square, more than 11,000 migrants have moved into Illinois in the last year, with the majority coming from Central and South America. Michael Glasser, who is a member of the Neighborhood Building Owner’s Alliance said that he is not worried because this is a normal trend.
“There’s always been a large number of refugees coming into this country before this particular crisis,” Glasser said. “And in the past, the capacity has been there to absorb these folks, so I’m not so worried that this will be a single factor that is going to create a huge increase in rent.”
He said a possible solution to the immigrant crisis and housing issues in the state of Illinois would be to employ the migrants in the housing industry.
“There’s extreme interest by many of us in the industry in having labor and skilled labor who can take care of some of our maintenance and painting and landscaping,” he said.
The effort to protect the status of undocumented migrants in Illinois with regards to housing was led by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Ill.) who had argued that the new law would make sure that no person Is “unjustly denied housing.”
“This law sets clear boundaries, protecting the rights of immigrants and ensuring that financial institutions and service providers cannot engage in discriminatory practices,” Gillespie said. “Putting these protections in place will promote fairness to ensure people are not unjustly denied housing. By making this change, we are breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for immigrants to establish homes and contribute to our communities. Someone’s background should not disqualify them from buying or renting property.”
The Democrat Senator also explained that the bill will prohibit third party loan modification providers from making changes to any of their terms of service based on the immigration status of the person applying for a loan.
The recently signed law was a part of several bills that were signed by the Illinois governor which include a law which would grant undocumented migrants the ability to obtain a state driver’s license. This would replace the Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License in Illinois.
The governor said that this a “significant step” towards “making our roads safer.”
“This legislation is a significant step in eliminating the barriers to opportunity that many undocumented immigrants face,” Pritzker said in a statement, according to Fox 32. “We’re ensuring every eligible individual can obtain a driver’s license, making our roads safer, decreasing stigma, and creating more equitable systems for all.”
The new laws will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
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Update: Title corrected from “Illinois to force tenants to accept illegal immigrants as tenants” to “Illinois to force landlords to accept illegal immigrants as tenants.”