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Local Lawmakers Ask Cuomo to Extend Protection to Immigrant Renters in NYC

Posted on June 18, 2020 by  |  Share

This segment features Antonio Garcia, Catholic Charities Director of Eviction Prevention Program. It originally appeared on Fox 5.

NEW YORK - With so many people left unemployed or sickened by COVID-19 over the last three months, local leaders are now calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to protect all tenants in New York from eviction regardless of their immigration status.

“We already have many tenants who have been receiving calls, letter from landlords that they have to pay rent now,” said New York City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. “They should not be doing that, that’s harassment.”

Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended his Executive Order on an eviction moratorium from June 20 until August 20. However, Councilman Rodriguez says that the extension only protects those who are eligible to apply for unemployment under federal and state law, which leaves the undocumented community unprotected and at risk of eviction come Saturday.

However, according to the Governor’s Executive Order: “There shall be no initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of either an eviction of any residential or commercial tenant…. If owned or rented by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Antonio Garcia, the Director of Catholic Charities of New York’s Eviction Prevention Program told FOX 5 NY that Cuomo’s eviction moratorium does protect immigrants, but he says it can be hard to prove financial hardship since many undocumented immigrants work off the books.

Garcia says that tenants should know their rights and how to navigate the court system. The city is providing free legal service to people who need it, for more information you can call 3-1-1.