It’s no secret today’s “woke” times means that progressives are beginning to demand everyone use the correct vocabulary, but one group in New York took things even further. Despite the First Amendment, the New York City Commission on Human Rights recently announced sanctions for city residents who use terms like “illegal alien” to describe illegal aliens.
“Hate has no place here,” said a tweet from the city as it made the announcement. The group would like to not only ban the use of select terms, but also punish those who use them. Some terms that people could be fined for include:
- Illegal alien
- Illegal immigrant
- Threatening to turn an illegal alien in
- Threatening to call ICE
- Mentioning someone’s “limited English proficiency.”
- Go back to your country
While these are rude statements and potentially upsetting to those in earshot, the Commission has taken the unusual step of threatening residents and censoring speech. Threatening to call ICE is among the now-banned words — despite the actual purpose of ICE in law enforcement.
“Threatening to call ICE when motivated by discrimination, derogatory use of the term ‘illegal alien,’ and discrimination based on limited English proficiency are unlawful discriminatory treatment under the NYC Human Rights Law,” the announcement read.
Fines for exercising your first amendment rights could be staggering:
“Fines of up to $250,000 can be assessed for each act of willful discrimination, and damages are available to complainants,” the city said.
Using one of these or similar statements towards anyone could result in a fine for a New York City resident.
This is not the first time the city’s Commission on Human Rights has overstepped its bounds and trampled on the constitution. In the recent past, the committee also banned the use of the incorrect gender pronoun (calling a biological man “him” if he identifies as a woman, and vice versa). Both employers and landlords faced hefty fines if the wrong pronoun was used – again, the $250,000 fine was mentioned for offenders.
New York City is not alone. The Associated Press has also cautioned reporters against the use of the term “illegal” or “alien”. This change came as early as 2013, when the brand’s style guide was updated. The official AP style guidelines now read:
“Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.”
The City of New York has yet to levy any fines for using misgendered pronouns or the wrong language; there is also no comment from the group on the First Amendment issues their recent sanctions create.