For four families who live in the Waples Mobile Home Park in Fairfax County, Virginia, being evicted due to a lack of one family member’s Social Security number isn’t the end of the story.
All have filed federal civil rights lawsuits, according to the attorney for their case Ivy Finkenstadt, the trailer park's policy has been in place for a long time.
Finkenstadt, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center, told Fox News Latino,“It’s not against the law in Virginia's tenant landlord law to ask for tax identification or Social Security numbers, however, in this case the management company" – A.J. Dwoskin & Associates – "won’t accept tax ID ... for purposes of doing a background check. Instead they’ve asked for random documents such as the I-94, a passport and a visa – and they want all of the above.”
Fox News Latino called A.J. Dwoskin & Associates about the lawsuit, but the company refused to comment.
According to the dozen or so families living at the Waples Mobile Home Park, the company is refusing to renew their leases unless every resident over the age of 18 living in the home is able to supply the required documents.
Legal Aid Justice Center, along with the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, is representing the four families and two additional families who left the mobile home park. All the complainants resided for between two and six years at Waples.
Although the policy has been in place for some time, it seems as if it began only being enforced in the middle of 2015.
“Based on the many for sale signs on the homes in the park, it appears that a lot of people are making the decision to move ... or are having difficulty renewing [their] lease,” Finkenstadt observed.
According to the lawsuit, the company doesn't necessarily evict those who cannot provide sufficient documentation, instead requiring some families to change from annual to month-by-month leases and imposed a monthly $300 fee on top of the $765 rent.
It’s not so easy to move a "mobile" home. There are only a handful of mobile home parks in the area, and there are a lot of regulations involved in relocating them. It’s also extremely expensive to move a double-wide.
“These policies are being applied uniformly to the Latino families we’ve met, and I would speculate that the white and black tenants of the park don’t even know this is going on,” Finkenstadt told FNL.
She added, “This is not an issue just impacting undocumented immigrants, the families have a diversity of legal statuses, and some are U.S. citizens. This is affecting these families based on their race and national origin. It’s about families and people with barely a toehold on the American dream.”
Rebekah Sager is a writer and editor for FoxNews.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager.