DENVER — The state Senate Local Government Committee advanced a bill Tuesday to ban landlords and apartment groups from asking a potential tenant about their citizenship status.
The bill will soon be voted on by the entire state Senate.
The bill is meant to help Coloradans like Antonio from facing potential discrimination. Antonio, whose last name he did not want used, recently received his full citizenship status. But prior to that, he had to fill out additional paperwork to rent a high-rise apartment downtown.
This is an example of paperwork some non-US citizens must fill out in order to apply to rent an apartment in Colorado. Some claim it’s discrimination. A bill just advanced in the #coleg state senate local govt committee to ban this question. Full Senate vote next. pic.twitter.com/SdR7HekBED
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) January 28, 2020
“I instantly felt I was being treated differently — not in a good way,” Antonio testified in committee Tuesday.
Antonio says his husband applied at the same time and did not face the same level of scrutiny, despite Antonio earning more money.
“They instantly felt like I was a bad person,” Antonio said.
However, landlords and apartment groups disagree, arguing to lawmakers they have the right to know if someone in their building might be deported.
“Landlords have a reasonable basis to ask those type of questions and this bill would prohibit that,” said Drew Hemrick with the Colorado Apartment Association.