Housing lawyers are reporting a troubling trend: Landlords exploiting the growing fear of immigration authorities to evict tenants, raise rents, and clear residents from gentrifying neighborhoods.
News Story (California)
April 5, 2017
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Deportation, Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County (California), Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP) (CA), National Housing Law Project
Shirley Gibson’s client was in jeopardy. A mother of three living in San Mateo County in California, the woman had obtained a restraining order against her children’s father for domestic abuse. Her landlord took the opportunity to demand that she sign a new, higher lease. She pleaded with him to let her take the document to an attorney.
“Legally, a victim of domestic violence isn’t required to agree to new lease terms or agree to pay more rent, just because they’re a victim,” says Gibson, directing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.
The landlord wasn’t having it. Gibson says that he made a clear threat: If you don’t sign this right now, I’m going to call immigration, and you will be taken to Mexico, away from your children.