Jaideep Reddy, an Indian American landlord in Queens, New York, has apologized for having sent letters to the tenants in his building demanding they prove they are in the country legally or risk eviction, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
State Sen. Jose Peralta, furious upon learning about the letters, filed a complaint on June 19 with the state attorney general’s office, the report said. When confronted by media, landlord Jaideep Reddy apologized. “That’s wrong,” he said. “I’ll retract that. I’m sorry.”
Peralta said the owners of the property in Corona violated the rights of the tenants by sending the letters. “This is unreal, and sadly, it seems that it’s open season against immigrants since the election of Donald Trump,” he said. “I am not going to tolerate this, or any other form of discrimination.”
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told media the letter is “abhorrent.” “We knew that something like this was bound to happen when people feel emboldened in this climate to defy the laws and intimidate people,” she said. “At the end of the day, what this is about is probably getting people out of the apartment so they can raise the rent.”
Reddy, a physician who lives in Glen Head, Long Island, told The News the letter was the result of over a year’s frustration of trying to gain access to the apartments to make electrical repairs following a fire, and said his electrician drafted the letter. “Each apartment has 12 people in there—is that safe?” he queried.
Gov. Cuomo, meanwhile, became involved in the story when on June 19 he directed the state Division on Human Rights as well as other departments to investigate the actions, adding that the probe would seek to determine if the problem exists elsewhere in the state, according to The News, which reported exclusively on the issue June 18.