In what is believed to the first case in the United States, a New York City judge had a landlord fined $17,000 for threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigrant renters. The complaint said that the landlord threatened via email and text message to call ICE if the tenant did not pay her rent, according to the Wall Street Journal.
NYC Judge John B. Spooner recommended that the landlord pay a $5,000 civil penalty, $12,000 in damages for emotional distress plus complete 50 hours of community service. The tenant, who had fallen behind in rent and was an undocumented immigrant when the case was filed in 2017, has had a Green Card since July of 2018 and lived in the apartment from 2011 until September 2018.
In August 2019, Illinois passed the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, which protects immigrant renters and prohibits landlords from evicting or striking back against a tenant based on their citizenship or immigration status, or reporting their status to an agency such as ICE. Illinois is the second state to pass the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, joining California.
The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 312-579-0621.