June 26, 2018

Joshua Fleitman: (Office) 202-724-8191, (Mobile) 202-294-2506, 

Councilmember Todd Introduces Bill To Protect Immigrants From Extortion

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) introduced legislation to protect District residents from extortion based on their immigration status.

The Protecting Immigrants from Extortion Amendment Act of 2018expands the crime of extortion to include the actual or threatened notification of law enforcement of another’s immigration status. The legislation aims to protect immigrants from being taken advantage of by unprincipled employers or landlords who threaten to inform law enforcement of an employee’s immigration status if they refuse to comply with demands such as working without pay, working for below legal or contractually-obligated wages, or paying inflated rent. California, Colorado, Maryland, and Virginia have enacted similar laws. The bill was co-introduced by Councilmembers Cheh, Silverman, Robert White, and Bonds.

“In a time when our immigrant communities are facing xenophobic rhetoric and callous Federal policies, we must extend basic protections against extortion to the District’s immigrant community” said Councilmember Todd. “I am incredibly proud of the District’s commitment to remaining a sanctuary city and our concerted efforts to protect immigrants, who add diversity, vibrancy, and value to the District. It is important that our laws continue to protect vulnerable immigrant communities.”


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