This post, News Scan, by Michael Rushford, first appeared on at http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/.
Illegal to Say Illegal Alien in NY: The New York Commission on Human Rights (NYCHRL) has announced in a recent immigration guidance that “It is illegal for a person’s employer, coworkers, or housing provider
such as landlords to use derogatory or offensive terms to intimidate,
humiliate, or degrade people, including by using the term ‘illegal
alien,’ where its use is intended to demean, humiliate, or offend
another person.” It also cites tenants as an example of people whose
speech is restricted. Hans Bader has this piece in Liberty Unyielding reporting that the city also is trying to forbid most if not all reporting of illegal
aliens to the federal government. The Commission forbids such reports if
the person making the report is “motivated” by the illegal alien’s
“immigration status.” “But what other motive could a reporting party
legitimately have? The whole reason to report an illegal alien to the
federal government is precisely because of their immigration status.” Finding that this is a clear violation of the First Amendment Bader also notes that the Commission proposes fines up to $250,000 for violations. “The specter of such huge fines and no safe harbor for reporting will
have a huge chilling effect on citizens, discouraging them from
exercising their First Amendment right to petition federal officials to remove illegal aliens.” Which undoubtedly is what was intended. The First Amendment does not include a blanket “harassment” exception, nor does the fact that federal law and numerous Supreme Court decisions frequently use the term “illegal alien,” to describe so-called undocumented immigrants constitute harassment.