Assembly approves migrant rent bill
In Escondido, a suburb about 30 miles north of San Diego where Latinos make up 42 percent of the residents, the City Council adopted an ordinance last October that required landlords to evict illegal immigrants within 10 days or face suspension of their business licenses. The council retreated two months later after a federal judge questioned whether the measure inflicted “irreparable harm” on tenants and landlords. Calderon’s bill would bar ordinances that required landlords to collect information or take any other action regarding a tenant or prospective tenant’s citizenship or immigration status. Republicans described the bill as legally ambiguous and said it could make it difficult for landlords to obtain legitimate information to ensure tenants can pay the rent. “The way it is drafted it opens up a whole opportunity for litigation,” said Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange. The issue has played out across the country, more recently in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch. Civil rights groups there are contesting a voter-approved ordinance that bans landlords from renting apartments to illegal immigrants. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Cities and counties could no longer enact ordinances barring landlords from renting to illegal immigrants under a bill approved this week by the state Assembly. The legislation comes more than six months after the city of Escondido sought to involve landlords in immigration enforcement, a job the bill’s supporters said should be reserved to federal authorities. The Assembly passed the bill, 42-23, Thursday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. “We shouldn’t be asking landlords to be de-facto immigration officers,” the author, Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, said during the debate.