Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) Friday joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, state and local legislative colleagues, and immigration attorneys and advocates to announce the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act of 2017 in San Francisco’s Mission District. Assembly Bill (AB) 291 strengthens state law to protect immigrant tenants from intimidation and retaliation in their homes.
“Tenants should not have to live in fear simply because they are immigrants or refugees. Trump has declared war on immigrants, and it is clear that ripping apart families through mass deportations could be our new reality,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “This bill will deter the small minority of unscrupulous landlords who take advantage of the real or perceived immigration status of their tenants to engage in abusive and illegal acts.”
“Even under ordinary circumstances, immigrant tenants shouldn’t have to fear being reported to immigration authorities by their landlords, who know so much about them. The events of the last two weeks make the need for these protections only more certain,” said Jith Meganathan, Policy Advocate for Western Center on Law & Poverty, a co-sponsor of the legislation.
AB 291 bars landlords from disclosing information related to tenants’ immigration status. The bill would also prohibit landlords from threatening to report tenants to immigration authorities, whether in retaliation for engaging in legally-protected activities or to influence them to vacate.