New Illinois Law Protects Immigrants from Housing Discrimination

Illinois has passed a groundbreaking law that will go into effect in 2024, aiming to prevent landlords from discriminating against potential tenants based on their immigration status. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 1817 into law, which makes important amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act to include protections against housing discrimination related to immigration status and discriminatory advertising.

This law is part of a larger effort by Governor Pritzker to ensure equal opportunities for undocumented immigrants. Among the series of bills signed is a law that grants undocumented immigrants access to standard driver’s licenses, replacing the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License with a four-year standard license. This will benefit over 300,000 individuals who currently hold temporary licenses.

Governor Pritzker stressed the significance of these measures in eliminating barriers and providing equal opportunities for undocumented immigrants. The state aims to enhance road safety, reduce stigmatization, and create more equitable systems by ensuring that eligible individuals can obtain driver’s licenses.

State Senator Ann Gillespie, a Democrat, played a leading role in expanding housing rights for undocumented immigrants. She emphasized that the new law sets clear boundaries to protect the rights of immigrants and prevent discriminatory practices by financial institutions and service providers. Gillespie stated that the legislation would ensure immigrants are not unjustly denied housing opportunities.

The bill also includes provisions that prohibit third-party loan modification service providers from modifying their terms of service based on immigration status. However, inquiries into immigration status will still be allowed when required by law.

Gillespie emphasized that this change aims to break down barriers and provide opportunities for immigrants to establish homes and contribute to their communities. The legislation reflects the belief that someone’s background should not disqualify them from purchasing or renting property in Illinois.

This new law is a significant step towards ensuring equal treatment and fair housing for all individuals, regardless of their immigration status. It strengthens protections against discrimination and promotes inclusivity in the housing market.

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