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New laws protect immigrants renting property in Illinois

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Governor Pritzker signed the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act

A white state building with columns and a domed center. A blue sky with green trees surrounding.
State capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

Immigrants renting apartments in Illinois now have more protection against landlord harassment thanks to a new law signed by Governor J.B. Prtizker on Wednesday.

The Immigrant Tenant Protection Act prevents landlords from evicting or retaliating against a tenant because of their citizenship or immigration status. After California in 2017, Illinois is the second state to create legal protections for immigrants who rent property.

“Where you were born has nothing to do with the ability to pay rent on time, which is what the relationship between a landlord and a tenant should really be about,” said Governor JB Pritzker in a statement. ”I’m proud that in 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. Here in Illinois, we are, and always will be, a welcoming state.”

According to SB 1290, landlords are prohibited from intimidating or threatening to disclose immigrants’ citizenship status to any person, agency, or law enforcement. If that happens, the tenant is allowed to sue for damages with penalties up to $2,000 for each violation. The law takes effect immediately.