BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Division of Human Rights has filed a complaint against a Corona landlord who allegedly discriminated against his immigrant tenants earlier this year.
Jaideep Reddy, who is the landlord of the 95-36 42nd Ave. building in Corona, allegedly posted a letter on the building’s entrance demanding that all tenants report to his management office with their Social Security card, photo ID, proof of employment, Green Card or passport—or else their lease would be terminated and they’d face eviction.
“We are a nation of immigrants, and New York will not stand by while innocent men and women are targeted and discriminated against,” said Cuomo. “Make no mistake: This reprehensible behavior is against the law and against what we stand for as New Yorkers, and we will use every avenue to stop this, weed out these bad actors and protect the basic rights of tenants across the state.”
The incident drew the attention of State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) after he was contacted by a constituent, who showed him the letter. Peralta filed a complaint with the office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which sent a cease-and-desist notice to Reddy stating that his alleged letter to the tenants violates city and state laws.
In New York State, it is illegal to ask tenants to provide immigration- status information as a condition of renewing their lease.
“I was appalled when a constituent came into my office with a letter from a landlord requesting proof of immigration status to his tenants threatening them with eviction if they did not comply,” said Peralta. “As soon as we were alerted of the existence of this unacceptable, racist letter, we immediately notified the state authorities. I am very glad Gov. Cuomo took action and investigated the case we uncovered, an investigation that led to the filing of a complaint by the State Division of Human Rights against the Corona landlord. This is clearly a case of housing and immigration discrimination against my constituents, and I am not going to tolerate this kind of inconceivable behavior.”
According to reports, Reddy alleged that the building’s electrician, Eddie Peralta, was responsible for posting the note.
After being blamed for the letter, Eddie Peralta was allegedly caught on record saying, “What Donald Trump is doing is right. Look what we do for all these illegal aliens and what do they do? They commit homicides. They go raping people.”
The complaint consists of a 180-day review process by the State Division of Human Rights that could lead to Reddy’s facing civil fines and penalties. In addition, the agency is empowered by law to investigate and prosecute systematic patterns of discrimination.
Neither Reddy nor Eddie Peralta could be reached for comment by press time.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.