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New law bars landlords from reporting tenants to ICE

This week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that made California a "sanctuary state" that offers protection to the state's undocumented immigrants. This is the latest salvo in the immigration battle between the Trump administration and Gov. Brown.

The law, which will not be in effect until Jan. 1, 2018, prohibits police from asking those individuals they encounter what their green card/visa status is. Furthermore, California police will no longer be part of any immigration enforcement tactics initiated by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Officers and other personnel working in the state's jails also won't be permitted to transfer undocumented state inmates into federal custody if they were convicted on specific charges.

In his statement to the press and public, Brown said that "[t]hese are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance [to] . . . protect public safety, [and bring] a measure of comfort to those families . . . living in fear."

Additional bills the governor signed into laws this week add other protections for undocumented immigrants. Landlords can no longer report tenants' immigration statuses to ICE agents under the new laws. Landlords also may not use their tenants' undocumented status as a reason for eviction.

A San Francisco assemblyman said late last spring that "some unscrupulous landlords . . . have threatened to call ICE on tenants . . . they're trying to evict, raise their rents or not deal with habitability or housing conditions."

Immigration officers also can no longer go onto job sites or schools unless accompanied by warrants. Municipal governments are now barred from entering into contracts with companies working for profit alongside ICE to detain undocumented immigrants.

It's a fact that California landlords can use some dirty tricks to take advantage of their tenants. If you have been victimized by a slumlord's underhanded tactics, you may decide to pursue legal remedies.

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