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Queens landlord gave tenant information to ICE after discrimination complaint, commission says

A landlord in Ridgewood, Queens, is accused of sending his tenants’ personal information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in retaliation for discrimination complaints filed against him, the city said Wednesday.

The landlord, who was not immediately identified due to the ongoing investigation, was served a notice of complaint from the NYC Commission on Human Rights back in March that alleged he discriminated against his tenants based on their immigration status, the commission said.

But in his response, the commission said the landlord denied the accusations and copied the letter, including the tenants’ information, to ICE. The move violated retaliation protections of the NYC Human Rights Law, according to the commission.

“The commission will not hesitate to take action against bad actors when they retaliate against New Yorkers who have reported discrimination,” said Sapna V. Raj, with the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

It is illegal in New York City to discriminate against or harass tenants based on their immigration status or nation of origin. Violators can be fined up to $250,000, and the human rights commission said it reserves the right to award compensatory damages to victims.

The landlord is now facing an additional charge of retaliation by the NYC Commission on Human Rights and a complaint is being filed against him on behalf of the city.

“Our message is loud and clear: we will hold landlords accountable for discrimination in our city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an emailed statement. “We stand with tenants, regardless of their origin, in Queens and across the five boroughs.”

The case was brought to the commission’s attention by the nonprofit advocacy group Make the Road NY.

Anyone who believes they are the victim of discrimination or harassment by their landlord can call 311 or the commission’s direct hotline at 718-722-3131.

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