They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but that was not the case this past weekend. NCLR, the National Council of La Raza, held its annual conference in Las Vegas and the ERC, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provided a pre-conference workshop for immigrant rights and housing advocates in Nevada to learn more about fair housing and discrimination based on national origin.
NCLR is the nation’s largest Latino rights organization, and this is the second year that the ERC, HUD, and NCLR have partnered to provide fair housing training.
The day started with opening remarks from the Director of NCLR’s Wealth-Building Policy Project, Janis Bowdler, and John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The ERC provided two presentations: an overview of fair housing rights and resources, and a discussion on housing discrimination faced by immigrant communities and the remedies available. Additional lunchtime remarks discussed pathways to citizenship as well as the recent Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s anti-immigrant law.
During the ERC’s presentations, participants raised questions about access and services for people with limited English proficiency (LEP), source of income discrimination in Vegas’ unique economy, and the barriers to housing faced by people who do not have documentation.
The timing of this year’s workshop was particularly meaningful, as the Supreme Court recently overturned key provisions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. As the ERC has previously noted, the rise in anti-immigrant laws like the one in Arizona has brought about increased discrimination against citizens and non-citizens alike. The Supreme Court’s decision will hopefully stem the tide of this insidious legislative trend. However, education about fair housing rights and resources is critical to ending the national origin discrimination that continues. The ERC is proud to work with allied partners such as NCLR and HUD to promote equal housing opportunity to all to audiences across the country.