New York City Bans the Term "Illegal Alien"
You can now be fined up to $250,000 for using the phrase.
New York City has banned the term “illegal alien” when used “with intent to demean, humiliate or harass a person,” and anyone who breaks the rules can be fined up to $250,000. The new rule is part of a new directive issued last week by the Commission on Human Rights. The directive also bans threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on someone “when motivated by discrimination,” and makes discrimination based on someone's English proficiency another violation. You can read the full 29-page directive here.
“We take immense pride in our city's diversity and the immigrant communities that call New York City home,” Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson said in a statement. “This new legal enforcement guidance will help ensure that no New Yorker is discriminated against based on their immigration status or national origin.” The city's directive includes many examples of offenses that would be in violation of the law, including hotel management telling a housekeeper not to speak their native language in front of guests because it might “offend,” or a store owner telling customers speaking another language to “go back to your country.”
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump notably told four congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — to “go back” to the countries they came from. “In the face of increasingly hostile national rhetoric, we will do everything in our power to make sure our treasured immigrant communities are able to live with dignity and respect, free of harassment and bias,” Carmelyn P. Malalis, chair and commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, said of the new directive. “Today's guidance makes abundantly clear that there is no room for discrimination in NYC.”