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Illinois Prohibits Landlords from Considering Immigration Status in Rental Decisions

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

This legislation is part of a series of bills signed by Governor Pritzker, including a law granting undocumented immigrants access to standard driver’s licenses. The new law replaces the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License with a four-year standard license, benefiting over 300,000 individuals who currently hold temporary licenses.

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

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State Senator Ann Gillespie, a Democrat, led the effort to expand housing rights for undocumented immigrants. She emphasized that the law establishes 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 that immigrants are not unjustly denied housing opportunities.

The bill also includes provisions prohibiting 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.

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