In yet another beyond-parody story, four families of illegal immigrants in Virginia have filed a discrimination lawsuit against their mobile home park landlord because he asked for official documentation in order to run a standard criminal background check.
The civil rights lawsuit was filed Monday by four Latino families in Fairfax County who say that requiring official documentation to perform criminal background checks of residents is racially discriminatory. "Attorneys for the families are alleging that the requirement for all tenants to have a Social Security card, visa and related documents or a passport is discriminatory because it disproportionately affects Latinos," reports the Washington Post.
In other words, because of the possible presence of illegal immigrants, landlords should not be able to protect their tenants and themselves by running proper background checks.
According to the Legal Aid Justice Center attorneys representing the families, the landlord has violated the Fair Housing Act and the Virginia Fair Housing law and other federal courts have forced some cities and counties to halt similar policies.
"This type of discrimination is all too common, but the law is unfortunately far from clear," said LAJC's Ivy Finkenstadt in a statement. "Many cities and counties across the country have tried to put into place similar laws, and they have routinely been struck down by the federal courts."
LAJC director Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg seemed to hedge on whether or not his firm really had a case — the lawsuit, afterall, is perhaps the first of its kind — saying that even if the landlord actually has the right to check the backgrounds of his tenants, he "doesn't have to do this."
"They're kicking out people who have a history of paying bills on time and who have been good tenants," Sandoval-Moshenberg told the Post. "Even if the court ultimately decides the landlord has a right to do this, it’s equally clear the landlord doesn’t have to do this."
The Legal Aid Justice Center describes itself as a group fighting for "more justice, less poverty" and serving "those in our communities who have the least access to legal resources."
H/t The Daily Caller