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Democrats’ Systemic Normalization Of Property Theft Birthed America’s Squatter Crisis

The ultimate goal of Democrats and their far-left allies is to destroy property rights and replace capitalism with socialism.

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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said last week that squatters have “no rights.” He should try to convince his Democrat colleagues and their far-left allies because their systemic effort to normalize property theft has led to the unprecedented squatter crisis in America. Their ultimate goal is to destroy property rights and replace capitalism with socialism.

Squatting is a form of trespassing as squatters use properties without the owners’ permission or any legal documentation. Nor do squatters offer property owners financial compensation. Atlanta, Georgia, is the epicenter of the squatter crisis. Squatters have overtaken about 1,200 homes.

One of the victimized homeowners, Lt. Col. Dahlia Daure, said she felt “violated” after learning that a squatter with a lengthy criminal history lived in her home rent-free with a fake lease while she was away on active duty. In Dallas, Texas, squatters have occupied an estimated 475 homes. Even high-end communities are not free from squatters. In Beverly Hills, California, a group of squatters took over a $4.3 million mansion, tormented their neighbors with loud all-night parties, and dumped trash all over the property. It took a dramatic police raid to eventually get rid of these settlers. 

Besides violating homeowners’ property rights and trespassing, squatters often conduct criminal activities in properties they take over illegally. According to Dailymail.com, “Entire communities in Los Angeles and Atlanta have been ravaged by criminals turning homes into strip clubs and hosting all night raves, while residents of Texas and Colorado are being tormented by a serial squatter who is running rings around the police.” Last week, New York police raided a home in the Bronx occupied by squatters who were illegal immigrants. Police found guns, drugs, and a 7-year-old in the house.

Desperate property owners have to wait months or years to legally evict squatters or take the matter into their own hands, at the risk of endangering themselves. New York City homeowner Adele Andaloro was handcuffed by police last month when she tried to change the lock and kick out squatter Brian Rodriguez. Rodriguez has taken over the $1 million home Adele inherited from her parents and planned to allow illegal immigrants to rent rooms from him.

In another New York City squatting case, authorities arrested two squatters who allegedly took over an upscale apartment and beat homeowner Nadia Vitels to death when she confronted them on March 12.

Results of a Systemic Effort

This squatter crisis is the result of woke Democrats’ systemic effort to normalize property theft since the Covid-19 pandemic. In April 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) imposed an eviction ban, even though the agency lacked legal authority. The ban prevented landlords from collecting rent and evicting tenants. The CDC essentially voided the majority of rental contracts and violated landlords’ property rights with the eviction ban.

The eviction ban was supposed to be a temporary measure that would expire by the end of 2020. However, after Joe Biden became president, his administration renewed the federal eviction ban three times until the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban at the end of August 2021. Still, the court decision failed to prevent some Democrat-controlled states and municipalities, such as Alameda County, California, from extending the eviction ban well into 2023, long after the pandemic was over.

The eviction bans and their multiple extensions have incentivized some tenants not to pay rent for long periods of time while continuing to occupy the properties. Unable to collect rent for months and years has caused many property owners financial hardship. Last year, a landlord in California staged a hunger strike, alleging that the eviction ban had cost him $120,000 because his tenants hadn’t paid rent for 37 months. But Democrats support eviction bans while ignoring landlords’ sufferings.

Besides the eviction bans, the left normalized property theft through their defense of looting. In her 2020 book, In Defense of Looting, Vicky Osterweil argues that looting is not an illegal act but a necessary form of wealth and property redistribution in an unjust society. Looting “gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage.” A year after Osterweil’s book was published, California’s Democrats passed a law to decriminalize robbery.

The left’s normalization of property theft has been successful because criminals continue to smash, grab, and loot stores in broad daylight in 2024 while cops and store clerks have learned to look the other way. Retail giants such as Walgreens were forced to shut down some stores in Democrat-controlled cities, such as San Francisco. There is a direct link between the left’s normalization of looting and the current squatter crisis in Democrat-controlled cities.

Squatters’ Rights Laws

America’s current squatter crisis has been made worse by blue states’ and cities’ overly lenient squatters’ rights laws, which are also known as “adverse possession” laws. Such laws stipulate that if a squatter occupies a property for a certain period without the owner taking legal action against them, the squatter gains the legal right to stay and use the property. New York City’s squatter rights law allows a squatter to obtain tenant rights after living in a property for 30 days.

The squatters’ rights law puts financial and legal burdens on property owners, forcing them to fight a lengthy legal battle to evict squatters while squatters live on the property rent-free and cannot be arrested for trespassing. Property owners, however, will be arrested for changing locks on the properties or removing squatters’ belongings as long as the legal process is ongoing. Some squatters even used squatters’ rights laws to sue legal owners for money

The blue states’ squatters’ rights law so heavily favors squatters that even illegal migrants started to exploit it. Leonel Moreno, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, shared squatting tips on TikTok on how to “invade” American homes. He invoked squatter’s rights, claiming that under U.S. law, “if a house is not inhabited, we can seize it.”

To add more insult to injury, some leftist organizations have used their taxpayer-funded resources to help squatters fight property owners’ legal eviction proceedings. In Bellevue, Washington, landlord Jaskaran Singh alleged a serial squatter, Sang Kim, and his family haven’t paid rent since May 2023 while living in Singh’s $2 million rental property. Kim received free legal assistance from the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project (HJP).

After Singh’s “Landlord Lives Matter” protest outside his rental property drew national media attention, HJP used taxpayers’ money to pay back close to $90,000 in rent that Kim owed. The HJP, however, continues to help Kim delay eviction efforts, including requesting a stay on the court’s eviction order. Singh and other fed-up property owners protested in Bellevue recently, blaming the HJP and Democrat leaders, including Gov. Jay Inslee and State Sen. Patty Kuderer, for enabling a squatter crisis in the state. 

Independent journalist Jonathan Choe, who has been covering Singh’s case since the beginning, posted on X that in Washington state, “Democrats, especially the progressive wing, are circling the wagons. They know if Singh wins, it could have massive political implications for tenant/landlord laws. Basically, this mom & pop landlord has laid out the playbook to fight back against this broken system.”

America’s current squatter crisis is the result of Democrats’ systemic effort to normalize property theft. Their ultimate goal is to destroy property rights and replace America’s free-market capitalism with socialism. Never forget that socialist revolutions in countries such as China began with demonizing landowners and abolishing private property rights. Since private property rights are the cornerstone of a free society, Americans must wake up to how the left has led our nation on a dangerous trajectory and do everything possible to defend our property rights.


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