The recent signing of SB 1817 into law by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) highlights the state’s misguided approach to housing and immigration. The law now includes “immigration status” as a protected class under the Illinois Human Rights Act, effectively requiring landlords to rent or sell property to illegal aliens. This decision opens up the housing market to tens of thousands of individuals considered deportable from the United States, while American citizens continue to struggle with exorbitant rents, particularly in metropolitan areas like Chicago.
While proponents of the law argue that it promotes fairness and prevents discrimination, it fails to address the adverse consequences it will have on housing costs for American citizens. In Chicago, where the median rent is already around $1,900 per month, many working and middle-class Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing. Mass immigration has long been recognized as a contributing factor to rising housing costs, even acknowledged by mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times and New York Magazine.
Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) has been one of the few voices within the Republican Party sounding the alarm on the detrimental effects of mass immigration on housing costs. He emphasizes that housing prices are further driven up when millions of individuals who are in the country illegally require housing, especially at a time when interest rates are already high. This situation amounts to economic warfare against American citizens, as it undermines their ability to achieve the American dream of homeownership.
A study conducted by the Michael Bloomberg-funded New American Economy in 2013 revealed how decades of mass immigration had already contributed to a staggering $3.7 trillion increase in housing costs for the next generation of homebuyers. Despite the negative impact on American citizens, this figure was spun as the creation of “housing wealth.” It is clear that such policies prioritize the interests of illegal aliens over the well-being of American citizens, effectively perpetuating an unfair system.
Rather than enacting laws that prioritize the rights of illegal immigrants, policymakers should focus on addressing the housing challenges faced by American citizens. Providing affordable housing opportunities for hardworking Americans should be the primary objective. It is essential to strike a balance that considers the needs of all residents, regardless of their immigration status, while also safeguarding the interests and opportunities of American citizens in accessing affordable housing.