State to Enact Immigrant Tenant Protection Act Following Gov. Pritzker Signature

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Chicago — Governor JB Pritzker signed the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act into law today, making Illinois the second state in the nation to enact new 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. “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.”

Under the new law, landlords are prohibited from evicting or retaliating against a tenant based on their citizenship or immigration status. Landlords are also prohibited intimidating tenants by disclosing or threatening to disclose a tenant’s citizenship or immigration status to any person, entity or immigration or law enforcement agency.

“Every person in Illinois who rents an apartment has the right to live free from harassment, and to expect that their landlord will provide a well-maintained home but often time for many immigrants that was not their reality,” said Griselda Vega Samuel, Midwest Regional Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “But after today, with Governor Pritzker signing the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, that will be a reality for all Illinoisans, regardless of immigration status.  MALDEF thanks the Governor for continuing to protect the most vulnerable communities and look forward to continuing to ensure all Latino and immigrant communities live free of fear and intimidation.”

If the landlord engages in any prohibited conduct, the tenant may bring a civil action to seek any of the following remedies: actual damages for injury or loss suffered, a civil penalty up to $2,000 for each violation payable to the tenant, reasonable attorney’s fees and other equitable relief as the court may deem appropriate and just.

Senate Bill 1290 takes effect immediately.

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