Illinois also enacted legislation extending standard driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants
By Michael Lee
An Illinois law set to go into effect at the beginning of 2024 will ban landlords from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of their immigration status.
Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed SB 1817 into law late last month, which will add “protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act for housing regarding immigration status protection and discriminatory advertising.”
The law was part of several pieces of legislation Pritzker signed last month, including another law aimed at giving undocumented immigrants access to state drivers licenses. The bill replaces the current Temporary Visitor Driver’s License with a standard license that will last four years, a move that will impact over 300,000 people who currently hold the temporary licenses.
“This legislation is a significant step in eliminating the barriers to opportunity that many undocumented immigrants face,” Pritzker said in a statement after signing the driver’s license legislation, according to Fox 32. “We’re ensuring every eligible individual can obtain a driver’s license, making our roads safer, decreasing stigma, and creating more equitable systems for all.”
The effort to expand housing rights to undocumented immigrants was led by Democratic State Sen. Ann Gillespie, who argued the bill would make sure people are not “unjustly denied housing.”
“This law sets clear boundaries, protecting the rights of immigrants and ensuring that financial institutions and service providers cannot engage in discriminatory practices,” Gillespie said in a press release last week.
Gillespie also noted that the bill would prohibit third party loan modification service providers from modifying their terms of service based on immigration status, though inquiries into immigration status will still be allowed where required by law.
“By making this change, we are breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for immigrants to establish homes and contribute to our communities,” Gillespie said in the release. “Someone’s background should not disqualify them from buying or renting property.”