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  1. #1
    Senior Member Skip's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    San Diego


    Bill against rental bans moves forward

    By: EDWARD SIFUENTES - Staff Writer

    Escondido, California
    June 10, 2007

    NORTH COUNTY ---- A bill that would keep city councils from targeting illegal immigrant renters, as Escondido's did last year, is still alive in the state Legislature.

    The bill received mixed reviews last week from local activist and lawmakers.

    Anti-illegal immigration activists criticized the proposal, Assembly Bill 976, which was inspired by Escondido's failed rental ban last year. But immigrant rights activists praised the measure, which inched forward recently when the Assembly voted to pass the measure by a 44-25 vote.

    It now rests in the Senate, which has until Sept. 14 to get it to the governor's desk. Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, who wrote the bill said he's optimistic the measure will pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

    The Assembly bill "certainly violates the spirit of federal law more so than a city's attempt to act in accordance with the law," said Mike Spencer, who leads the Vista Citizens Brigade, an anti-illegal immigration group that actively supported an Escondido ban on renting to illegal immigrants.

    On the other side, Tina Jillings, who founded the Vista-based immigrant rights group Coalition for Peace Justice and Dignity, said the bill is "a step in the right direction."

    She said the Escondido rental ordinance and others similar to it usurp federal authority.

    Last year, the Escondido City Council adopted an ordinance to block landlords from renting to illegal immigrants but withdrew it after immigrant and civil rights groups sued the city. Many other cities across the nation have tried to implement similar laws.

    Calderon said he wanted to make sure other California cities did not follow Escondido's example.

    The ordinance "required landlords to become de facto police," Calderon said. "Most concur that the ordinance was riddled with constitutional problems and ignored the primacy of federal immigration law."

    Calderon said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not signaled whether he would be willing to sign the bill, but took the governor's silence on the matter as a positive sign. A spokesman for the governor said Friday that the governor has not taken a stance on the bill.

    "We don't have a position, but we are keeping an eye on this issue," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.

    To get to the governor's desk, however, the bill must first clear the Senate Judiciary Committee and later the full Senate. Most North County lawmakers have said they oppose the measure, but Democrats hold the majority of seats, 25 to 15 Republicans, in the Senate.

    Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, said the bill infringes on local governments' ability to address local problems.

    "I voted no on it," Garrick said. "It's a local issue and it should be dealt with locally."

    Under an Escondido ordinance that passed on a 3-2 City Council vote last October, landlords caught renting to illegal immigrants would have to remove the tenants or face penalties. The punishments ranged from suspension of their business licenses to fines of up to $1,000 a day and six months in jail.

    In December, the city agreed to give up its legal defense of the law against a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups on behalf of two landlords, two illegal immigrants and the Escondido Human Rights Committee.

    Some City Council members said at the time that they planned to rewrite the law to address some legal questions before bringing it back.

    Similar ordinances have been enacted or considered in more than 30 cities around the nation, most notably in Hazleton, Pa. A law passed there that would punish employers who hire, and landlords who rent to, illegal immigrants is being challenged in a closely watched federal court case.

    The three council members who voted in favor of the ordinance have said they felt compelled to address illegal immigration because they said the federal government had failed in its duty to protect the border.

    Councilman Ed Gallo, who voted for the ordinance, said he was worried the bill could pass and make it more difficult for the city to address the problem.

    "If it's gotten this far, the scary thing is it could pass," he said. "The question is whether the governor will sign it."

    Gallo said he wants to wait and see what happens with the Hazleton lawsuit, before deciding whether to take up the rental ordinance again.

    But Calderon said cities should not be allowed to enact immigration laws simply because they disagree with federal policy.

    "There are many of us in the Legislature who disagree with the Iraq war," he said. "But we can't pass a law bringing the troops home."

    The lawmaker said there are currently no landlords groups that oppose the bill.

    "They don't want to be cops," he said.

    The only organization listed as opposing the bill was the California Apartment Association, which had joined the American Civil Liberties Union in its legal challenge of Escondido's rental ordinance. But a spokesman for the association said Friday that the group recently withdrew its opposition.

    The association, which is the largest rental housing trade association in the United States, with more than 50,000 members, opposed wording in the bill that could be interpreted to limit the documents that landlords can accept from rental applicants.

    But the bill was amended to address the problem, according to the association.

    For more information on the bill, visit

    Contact staff writer Edward Sifuentes at (760) 740-3511 or ... 6_9_07.txt

    Comments On This Story

    Note: Comments reflect the views of readers and not necessarily those of the North County Times or its staff.

    Neighbor wrote on Jun 10, 2007 6:36 AM:" Poor Escondido has to live with the juvenile brain of Ed Gallo. He thinks that he can force landlords to do something that even the City of Escondido can not do - prove the legal residence of an individual. And to top this off, Gallo wants to fine a rental property owner out of business. Gallo is a real estate agent, you would think that he would know better. "

    fedup wrote on Jun 10, 2007 7:39 AM:" what a waste of time, most people want the ILLEGALS gone! "

    Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 7:46 AM:" Being a former apartment manager, there are ways around this law. In my experience in Escondido, most quality complexes do not rent to illegal aliens, require identification, credit checks and monitor the activities of such tenants, some just don't rent to anyone with a tan. The little house with the equal sign can be worked around if you know how to do it and most who wish to have good tenants, no problems, property not degraded will find a way. This law just creates more discrimination in my opinion. Sacramento should stay out of the issue. "

    To Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 8:51 AM:" You are ridiculous it seems to me that you live in a the world of discrimination. "most quality complexes do not rent to illegal aliens, require identification, credit checks and monitor the activities of such tenants, some just don't rent to anyone with a tan", are you for real man. I take offense to your comment as I do have a permanent tan and I thank God own my own home because with people like you out there it is a wonder those with a tan can find housing I guess you are right we don't need any laws. "

    Robert24 wrote on Jun 10, 2007 9:06 AM:" We don't need this law anyway. Just enforce the laws we already have, and it will all be fine. Grab a dictionary, look up "illegal", print the definition and carry it around with you. If the activity of any "illegal" matches the description of the word, deal with the individual according to the activity and infraction. If I run a red light, there is a law and punishment for it. If you jumped the border fence, there is a punishment for that as well. I'll deal with my red light ticket, you deal with packing your bags and going back across the border. No new laws, problem solved! "

    To Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 9:12 AM:" "some just don't rent to anyone with a tan. What a deplorable statement that is!!!! We truly are living in horrible times. At first I was upset with Calderon for bringing this bill forward but I was wrong it is not useless and we need it more than ever according to the statement above made by Ray, I am relieved that he is a "former apartment manager". I guess some laws are made to be broken please can someone tell me which laws are to be obeyed and which laws can be broken? It seems that we are living in a selective law abiding society right now. Some say immigration laws must be enforced while they are violating the human and civil rights of others. Also, some of those screaming to enforce immigration laws are out vandalizing the personal property of others. Is is okay to commit a crime against a person we believe is a criminal? I am so disturbed by all of this mess. "

    renter wrote on Jun 10, 2007 9:36 AM:" illegals don't ask landlords to fix things. The septic system could be failing but they don't required it to be fixed. They don't ask to have the lawn mowed or the trashed picked up from the yard, that has been strewn by neighbors. Best of all they pay cash and the IRS will never know how much the landload is actually taking in. Illegals are exploited by americans and it is not their fault that it is a good business decision for slum lords to rent to illegals. "

    Charter Law City? wrote on Jun 10, 2007 9:40 AM:" I wonder if the law would apply to Charter Law cities. Or does it only apply to General Law cities? "

    Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 10:11 AM:" Look folks, this is the real world. I am sorry if I didn't "PC" it up enough for you but this is reality and the reality is that discrimination runs rampant in apartment rentals and it goes on every day. The trick is to prove it. By the way everybody, you talk about laws, "illegal" get it! "

    Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 10:15 AM:" A little story. I worked an apartment complex in Oceanside. I needed to gain access to make an emergency repair. I could walk to every room without my feet touching the floor, 41 beds counted. Maybe folks you get it now and why landlords do everything possible to discriminate. Additional, landlords collect about 1% of"unlawful detainers" too much of a risk to their bottom dollar. Relaity what a concept. "

    Greg in Oceanside wrote on Jun 10, 2007 10:44 AM:" I think we all know where your allegiance is Ed, it’s with Mexican immigrants, primarily illegal ones. This is preposterous to think that legislation barring legislation for rental bans can be effectively passed. And we can clearly see that another pro-illegal immigrant legislator is behind this; CA State Representative Charles Calderon. It’s pretty obvious, people like yourself, Calderon, NCLR, MEChA, Jillings, et al want to turn this country into Mexico. Those of us who are concerned are now awakened and will be fighting against illegal immigration and any legislation that will make it easier for illegal immigrants to receive amnesty and protections. And if we are to look at Mexico, we see rampant poverty, corruption, lawlessness, and cultural differences that American citizens are not willing to accept. "

    Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 11:11 AM:" If every landlord followed the three basic rules, drivers license, social security card, credit check there would not be a problem with illegal aliens, that is what the Escondido ordinance tried to address. you have some landlords (mission road between broadway and ash) that want to make $2.000 for a $650 rental, just look the other way and charge every occupant $200. That is what the ordinance tried to address once again. Back in the 80's and early 90's, the major hotel chains in Escondido refused to rent to marines, I feel that denying a room to someone serving their country is far worse than denying a rental to someone who broke into this country, but that's just me. Remember a landlod can refuse to extend a rental agreement (month to month) with no reason, the ordinance would have cleaned up Escondido within a year, made all rental untits attractive to new residents, now all you have is skid row barrios, that is why I no longer reside in Escondido. "

    Ray wrote on Jun 10, 2007 11:31 AM:" Now I know the NCT does not like to publish stories from other publications but if you want to read a good series of stories regarding this topic, I suggest you do a search on "border street" by the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado. It's a good series of stories listing the fustrations and problems regarding this topic. maybe some might get a handle regarding these problems. I suggest the NCT get permission to reprint this series. "

    Add Your Comments or Letter to the Editor ... 6_9_07.txt

  2. #2
    Senior Member pjr40's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Redlands, California
    It's bad enough, in California, that we have to fight against the illegal alien invasion, but we also have to fight against our pro-illegal immigrant government.
    <div>Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but I repeat myself. Mark Twain</div>

  3. #3
    Duh is offline
    Senior Member Duh's Avatar
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    Jan 1970
    The problem with this and so many other good laws, bills and referendums that pass is that it just takes one judge to declare it unconstitutional, and that always seems to be what happens in the end. I'm fed up with judges doing this! I was living in SoCal when we passed prop 187, but it never saw the light of day


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