Mayor Bill de Blasio wants New Yorkers to think twice before threatening to call immigration services.
Vice reported Tuesday that the NYC Commission on Human Rights updated the city’s enforcement guidelines last week. It’s now a finable offense to threaten to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on someone if the threat is motivated by discrimination. Fines can also be implemented for using the phrase “illegal alien” in a discriminatory way or discriminating against someone because of their ability to speak English.
People found guilty of doing so could be slapped with a fine of up t0 $250,000. The guidance will apply to employment, housing, and public accommodations. The guidance would be relevant, for example, if a restaurant employee harassed a customer for their accent or if a landlord threatened to call ICE on a tenant requesting help.
In September, the commission represented a tenant whose landlord had threatened to call ICE, and the judge later recommended that the landlord pay $17,000 in fines, according to CNN.
“If you want to come into the ultimate city of immigrants and try to spread hate, you WILL face the consequences,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Friday.
If you want to come into the ultimate city of immigrants and try to spread hate, you WILL face the consequences. https://t.co/QWy54wADZ1— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) September 27, 2019
Officials told Vice that the guidance is a response to President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. The Trump administration has repeatedly suggested that citizens call ICE and regularly uses the term “illegal alien” to refer to undocumented citizens.
“We are proud to have worked with the NYC Commission on Human Rights to produce and release this important guidance as we combat the federal government’s rhetoric of fear and xenophobic policies that have threatened the health and well-being of immigrant communities,” Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the mayor’s office and Immigrant Affairs, told CNN.
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