Sen. Fetterman Calls Squatter’s Rights ‘Crazy’

Sen. John Fetterman | Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Squatter’s rights laws have faced increasing pushback from lawmakers who question the policy’s fairness and purpose.

“Squatters have no rights,” Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) said in an interview with the New York Post. “I am not ‘woke.’”

“This is just crazy,” said Fetterman, adding, “How can you even pretend that this is anything other than you’re just breaking the law?”

“It’s wild, that if you go away on a long trip, for 30 days, and someone breaks into your home and suddenly they have rights,” Fetterman said, per the New York Post. “This is crazy. Like if somebody stole your car, and then they held it for 30 days, then somehow [they] now have some rights?”

Florida recently became the first state in the nation to ban squatter’s rights, The Dallas Express previously reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that allows property owners to summon law enforcement to remove illegal occupants from their property. In all other states, the situation is a civil matter and requires property owners to file eviction paperwork, which can lead to a process that may take months to years to resolve.

“You are not going to be able to commandeer somebody’s private property and expect to get away with it. We are, in the state of Florida, ending the squatter scam once and for all,” DeSantis said, as reported by Fox News.

Fetterman also denounced soft-on-crime policies that he asserted have directly led to horrific tragedies like the death of NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller, per the New York Post.

On March 25, two New York Police officers were conducting a traffic stop when one of the occupants opened fire, killing Officer Diller, as previously reported by DX. The shooter had 21 prior arrests.

“How many more police officers and how many more families need to make the ultimate sacrifice before we start protecting them?” asked Stephanie, Diller’s widow, at her husband’s funeral.

“We have to get back to law and order. We have to do a lot of things differently. This is not working. This is happening too often,” former President Trump said, per The Associated Press. “We have got to toughen up.”

Fetterman echoed Trump’s sentiment, stating, “We have to be very smart and aggressive on crime,” the New York Post reported.

The Biden administration has increasingly taken heat over a perceived lack of effort to deter unlawful migration, which has exacerbated crime trends in many cities, including New York City. In February, a group of migrants attacked New York Police officers, beating two, as previously reported by DX.

Seven suspects were arrested in connection with the incident; however, six were released from jail on no-bond policies. Four of the released suspects are believed to have been bussed to California. Only one suspect remains in custody.

“Get them all and send them back,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference. “You don’t touch our police officers; you don’t touch anybody.”

Dallas has struggled with so-called “soft-on-crime” prosecutors such as District Attorney John Cruezot, who instituted a policy that would allow criminals who stole between $100 and $750 to be granted amnesty. Cruezot faced backlash over the policy and ultimately reversed course in November 2022. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law in 2023 that prevents Texas DAs from enacting such policies, as previously reported by DX.

In Dallas, crime is perceived to be one of the key issues for voters in the upcoming election amid an ongoing officer shortage. While a City report previously recommended a force of roughly 4,000 officers to maintain public safety properly, DPD fields only around 3,000. Additionally, Dallas City Council only approved a budget of $654 million for DPD this fiscal year, opting to spend considerably less on its law enforcement operations than other high-crime jurisdictions like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

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