Based on a recent Fox News article, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, commonly referred to as the “Squad,” is pushing for a policy change that would prohibit landlords from performing criminal background checks on individuals seeking to rent their properties. Fox News reported that the “Squad” has introduced new legislation aiming to prevent consumer reporting agencies from including information about an individual’s criminal history in the reports used to assess potential tenants. The “Squad” comprises progressive left-leaning members of the House, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York.
The recently proposed bill aims to eliminate criminal convictions that are more than seven years old from consumer reports. Additionally, it seeks to establish a uniform national guideline for criminal information that is not included in these reports.
Although the bill is not expected to gain approval in the current Congress controlled by Republicans, it provides insight into the areas where progressive Democrats are considering reforms as the presidential election approaches. The introduction of this legislation coincides with the ongoing challenge of high crime rates in many urban areas across the United States, which reached their peak during the pandemic.
In response to the bill, certain Republicans argued that landlords should have the right to access the criminal records of prospective tenants. Representative Mike Garcia from California expressed his disagreement with the bill during an interview with Fox News. He asserted that if the aim is to enhance affordable and secure housing options, this particular legislation is not the appropriate solution. Garcia further criticized the bill, labeling it as a prime example of poor housing policy, and warned that California’s housing challenges would worsen if it were to be approved.
Representative Jim Banks from Indiana issued a statement strongly criticizing the legislation, drawing a parallel between it and the radical left’s calls to defund the police. He asserted that this bill demonstrates the prioritization of criminals over law-abiding citizens by the radical faction of the Democratic Party.
According to a press release by Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who is part of the Squad and involved in introducing the bill, the legislation aims to combat housing discrimination. Tlaib emphasized that the intention behind this bill is to prioritize compassion and restorative justice within the nation. She further stated that the legislation would enable individuals to rebuild their lives within their communities.