The website for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes frequent use of the term “illegal alien.” So does federal legislation, with illegal aliens among those prohibited from possessing firearms. However, you’d better be careful about using the term in New York City.
That’s according to the NYC Commission on Human Rights, anyway. It put out a press release that says “use of the term ‘illegal alien,’ among others, when used with intent to demean, humiliate, or harass a person, is illegal under the law.” Doing so is punishable by a fine of up to a quarter million dollars. Other offences include calling or threatening to call immigration authorities “based solely on a discriminatory or retaliatory motive.”
This rule covers “all users of public accommodations, including businesses such as restaurants, fitness clubs, stores, and nightclubs, and other public spaces, like parks, libraries, healthcare providers, and cultural institutions.”
Who’s in charge of determining what someone’s intention or motive is? Why, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, of course. Keep in mind, this is the same city where bars can’t refuse to serve pregnant women but kicking someone out for wearing a MAGA hat is totally fine.
That the Big Apple would have such little regard for the First Amendment isn’t surprising; the Second Amendment isn’t respected there either. When asked earlier this year whether the Constitution recognizes a right to bear arms, Mayor de Blasio refused to answer.
But leaving the Bill of Rights aside and just looking at the issue from a practical standpoint, you'd think that the city would have bigger problems that it could devote limited resources to.
Like stopping people from getting beaten with bricks.
An Orthodox rabbi learned that first hand earlier this year when he was hit over the head with one. The men accused of attacking him were also recorded throwing an object at another Jewish man in his car.
Those crimes weren't unique. In 2018, the beating of a Jewish victim was caught on video.
Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, but it's not only Jews who face an increased risk: hate crimes are up across the board, with the number of crimes against whites more than doubling over the last two years.
Some legal observers argue that New York's new speech restrictions are unconstitutional, and it's not clear how they'll withstand a legal challenge. Something that is clear?
The city would rather punish people for their words than protect them from violence.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.