A bill making its way through the state Legislature to strengthen tenant protections for immigrants without legal residency status is drawing support from advocates around the state, like David Aigboboh.
A lawyer for the Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles, Aigboboh represents a man fighting eviction from the apartment he's called home for the last 30 or so years.
Aigboboh thinks he has a case. The landlord wants to give his client's unit to a resident manager, even though Aigboboh said there hasn't been a manager before. The tenant lacks residency papers, so when the landlord's attorney asked him about his immigration status during a deposition in February, it made him "very, very scared."
"Now that his case is going to trial, he has expressed some concern about coming to the court to testify because he has seen the stories about (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents) appearing at courthouses," Aigboboh said.
Questioning a tenant about his or her immigration status would be barred in court under AB 291, sponsored by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco).