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Housing Attorneys Say California Landlords Threatening To Call Immigration Officials On Tenants

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles arrest fo...

Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Above: Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles arrest foreign nationals on Feb. 7, 2017.

Housing Attorneys Say California Landlords Threatening To Call Immigration Officials On Tenants

GUEST:

Kriston Capps, staff writer, CityLab

Transcript

Housing attorneys claim some landlords have seized on the election of President Trump as new leverage against tenants who want improvements to their apartments, or who the landlords simply want to move out, according to The Atlantic Magazine's CityLab.

Staff writer Kriston Capps reported Wednesday that landlords are threatening to report tenants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they don't comply. While legal-aid advocates didn't have specific data to quantify the increase in threats, attorneys said the spike has been notable since the election.

"While undocumented renters and members of mixed-immigration-status households have always been vulnerable to abuse and intimidation, California legal-aid experts say that reports of explicit deportation threats are pouring in from every part of the state," Capps wrote.

Navneet Grewal, a senior attorney at the Western Center on Law & Poverty, told Capps that not only are the threats becoming more prevalent, they are more intimidating as well, with some landlords citing Trump by name.

“What we used to see is, when there was a building of folks who had habitability concerns, you’d see things like a landlord threatening to report the building to ICE,” Grewal said. “What I hear from people now, there is an attitude of, ‘Why go through the eviction process when I can just call ICE to do the sheriff’s job?’”

Capps joined KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss whether these landlords are breaking the law and pending California legislation that could restrict what landlords can say to immigration officials.

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