Reading this column aloud in New York City could cost you $250,000.
Last week, the New York City Commission on Human Rights unveiled new discrimination guidelines. It is now illegal to use the term “illegal alien” with the intent to “demean, humiliate or harass a person.”
The regulations doesn’t apply to your own residence. It’s in effect almost everywhere else, including an illegal alien’s place of employment and housing. They also apply in public spaces, such as a park, and in businesses, such as a store. Those found guilty can be fined up to $250,000, with the monetary fine going to the person who made the complaint.
This is insane. Entering the country illegally is a crime. It shouldn’t be a crime to tell someone that they’re breaking the law. This is like making it illegal to tell a thief you’re going to call the police if they don’t give you back your wallet. On top of that, the fine you’d have to pay would go to a person who first broke the law.
The best argument in favor of this rule is that some people are jerks, which is true. Illegal immigrants are human beings. It’s wrong to demean, humiliate or harass someone, whatever the motivation. But there are two big problems with using that argument to pursue this sweeping of a policy.
First, in the age of micro-aggressions, the definition of harassment varies widely. College leftists will accuse a conservative speaker of harming them or even endangering their lives by giving a campus speech espousing views they don’t like. Before Ben Shapiro, a conservative podcast host and author, gave a speech at USC last year, leftists protested fiercely.
Shapiro’s speech put “the safety and lives of minority communities on the University of Southern Calfornia’s campus in harm’s way,” the University of Southern California Black Student Assembly said.
No, it didn’t. He talked and left. But that’s the treatment conservative speakers routinely receive on college campuses. Contrast that with how little outrage there is from the mainstream media when antifa thugs call random people on the street Nazis or physically assault them.
The second problem is that NYC’s new rule is unconstitutional. People have a right to say things others perceive as mean.
People have a right to point out that illegal aliens are illegal aliens. That’s not a racial pejorative. It’s an accurate description of some people’s immigration status. No less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court has used the term.
People also have the right to note that sanctuary city policies are dangerous. Those policies prevent local law enforcement agencies from telling ICE they have an illegal immigrant in custody. Releasing illegal aliens, instead of deporting them, has resulted in the deaths and rapes of numerous Americans. For instance, two months ago Montgomery County in Maryland implemented a sanctuary policy. Since then, at least nine illegal immigrants have been arrested for rape or child sex crimes. Those criminals should be deported.
It’s not just Maryland. Over the past year, New York City refused to honor more than 2,900 detainer requests from ICE. That means nearly 3,000 illegal aliens arrested for committing a second crime are still walking the streets.
Just don’t say that out loud in New York City, or you may owe one of those criminals $250,000.
Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 10 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.