weather icon Partly Cloudy

VICTOR JOECKS: NYC could fine you $250K for reading this column aloud

Reading this column aloud in New York City could cost you $250,000.

Recently, 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 regulation 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 California’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 is a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Tim Burke: New technology is useful, but someone may be listening

In 1986, the popular TV series Star Trek released its fourth full-length motion picture, featuring the original TV cast members. The movie, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” had the crew of the Enterprise traveling back in time to the United States in the 1980s.

Ray Hagar: Nevada’s Amodei looks to ‘break the ice’ on immigration

An all-encompassing or “comprehensive” immigration reform bill will never get through Congress, the only Republican in Nevada’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, said recently on Nevada Newsmakers.

Tim Burke: We should be honoring our veterans every day

The photo hangs in the hallway of my parents’ home. It has been there since they moved into their home more than 50 years ago. It is a photo of my father’s destroyer escort that he served on while in the Navy.

Dan Schinhofen: Divisive speech raises multiple concerns

There has been a lot of talk about “hate speech” and divisive language used by political leaders of late, and I have to say I am sick of them using us for their own agendas. The leaders of both parties have their catchphrases they know will incite their base and yet they still blame the “other side” for being divisive.