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Landlords and Employers May Pay High Price for Using the Term “Illegal Alien”

New York Immigrant

Hiring a New York Immigrant Attorney

In a public show of support for immigrants living and working in New York City, officials of the Big Apple have announced that those using the term “illegal alien” to refer to possible undocumented immigrants will face fines of up to $250,000. The New York City Commission on Human Rights announced in September 2019 that housing authorities, landlords, public accommodations and workplaces must not use the term “illegal alien” in dealing with employees, tenants or other individuals. Violations of this new guidance could potentially lead to significant financial penalties for agencies and individuals who use pejorative language to describe a New York immigrant or to harass someone with this protected status.

Potential Conflicts With First Amendment Rights

While New York City is actively working to protect immigrants from discrimination and harassment, this latest action may put the Commission on Human Rights in conflict with the free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The new guidance does not apply to everyone. It is intended specifically to protect New York immigrant individuals and families from discrimination and harassment in three key areas:

  • Housing
  • Public accommodations and services
  • Workplaces

By prohibiting the use of certain terms to refer to immigrants in the New York area, the commission intends to provide another layer of protection for these at-risk individuals and families in the course of their daily lives.

The Value of a Qualified New York Immigrant Attorney

Working with an experienced and knowledgeable New York immigration attorney is a good first step toward resolving issues with visas and citizenship applications. These legal experts can often provide the help you need to deal with problems related to discrimination in the workplace, in housing or in other public accommodations. This can provide you and your family with greater peace of mind throughout the process of protecting your legal rights.

If you need the services of an experienced New York immigration attorney, the team at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the most effective representation for your specific situation. We work with immigrants throughout the New York area to provide the right solutions for a wide range of needs, including visa applications, citizenship requirements and deportation proceedings. Call us today at 212-944-9420 to schedule a free case evaluation with our team. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.