Renting an Apartment as an “Illegal Immigrant”
Being an illegal immigrant in the United States is difficult and finding an apartment to rent doesn’t make it any better. Renting an apartment in a decent area requires legal documentation like valid social security, W2’s, credit history, and references that undocumented aliens don’t have.
Illegal Immigrants Are Forced to Live in Bad Areas
Most of the times illegal immigrants are forced to move to the bad part of town due to not having a valid identification and social security number while filling for section 8 might be an option to some this is not an option for these individuals. These areas are usually crime invested with a high murder rate. Though finding an apartment to rent is not impressible it’s usually very difficult since the apartment landlord can’t see the credit score, criminal history and income verification of the person. The illegal immigrant or immigrants might be the most honest, hard-working people in the world but without proper verification, the landlord can’t verify the who’s applying.
“Being an undocumented immigrant is something that I’m working on since the early 2000’s but my application has been getting denied by USCIS” says, Juan Pablo Ramirez an apartment renter in Los Angeles, CA
Many People Living in a One-Bedroom Apartment
The life of an immigrant isn’t easy, especially with a big family. When the illegal alien finally finds an apartment he or she is able to rent they don’t have many options of how many rooms they want or need. This problem leads to many people living under one roof. One way or another the family needs to make it work. Sometimes family is forced to live in the living room due to not being able to afford rent or not having the proper documentation. Let’s be honest every landlord want’s to avoid dealing with delinquent tenants at all costs.
Since landlords can’t verify the identity of renter 4 months of the security deposit is required along with the 1 months rent. Having to give such high-security deposit will be considered outrages. There have been times where the landlord knows the renter is undocumented and they keep the security deposit even though the renter paid rent on time every time. Missing a months rent is not like missing a mortgage payment.
“When I applied for my current apartment the landlord saw that I was undocumented they charged me 3 months rent. A security deposit and first months rent was also required. I had no choice but to pay it, this is the life of an immigrant” says, Francisco Sanchez, an apartment renter from Norwalk, CA
Breaking the Lease
Breaking an apartment lease is one of the worst things an illegal immigrant could do. There have been cases where the landlord will threaten the renter with calling ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). These types of situations will force families to pay high rent and stay living in an apartment they don’t want to rent anymore. The fear will keep immigrants from calling the police or filing a case in court. Breaking a lease to a legal resident might not be a big deal. However, being an undocumented illegal immigrant is a different story. There have been cases when landlords intentionally have hidden charges for undocumented renters.
Working Over Time Just to Pay Rent
Working 10-12 hours is something most illegal immigrants will have to do just to make ends meet. Most aliens don’t have social security they will have to work overtime and sometimes even double time just to able to pay rent each month since most under the table jobs pay minimum wage. Others spend more time working than with their families.
Condition of the Apartment
The condition of the apartments illegal immigrant rent isn’t always bad. Some get lucky and find a decent area to live and raise a family. The ones that aren’t lucky usually have to settle for older, cockroach and rotten infested buildings. Read this article if you want to know how to keep cockroaches out of your home.
“My apartment is infested with cockroaches and rats. I keep complaining to the landlord but he never does anything.” Says, Diego Patricio, an undocumented apartment renter in Bellflower, CA
Is There A Way Out?
In 2014 President Obama announced legal status for children that were brought to the U.S. as children. This reform helps immigrants get a social security card, identification card, drivers license and the opportunity to establish credit. This might be the way out to move to a safer neighborhood for some aliens.
Leaving your home country for an opportunity of the American Dream is something many families feel like they need to do to survive. Unfortunately, third world countries like Mexico and El Salvador don’t have the resources and economic opportunities like the U.S. does. Immigrants don’t want to leave their families but sometimes it’s the only way they will get any type of income.
Many believe life in America as an immigrant has become extremely difficult after president Donald Trump entered the white house. President Trump has taken extreme measures to go after illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in the past. However, reports show that criminals are not the only people getting deported. Those who have no type of criminal record are being targeted too. Is this a way of life worth living?