New York City has passed a new law banning the use of the term "illegal alien" when used "with intent to demean, humiliate or harass a person."
The measure, approved last Thursday by the city's Commission on Human Rights, applies to all public accommodations, employment and housing, with fines of up to $250,000 for "each act of willful discrimination."
The new law also forbids businesses and organizations from using English proficiency tests or the threat of calling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as a way to harass or discriminate against someone.
"We take immense pride in our city’s diversity and the immigrant communities that call New York City home," New York 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 directive notes that around 3.2 million New York City residents — 37 percent of the population — were born outside the U.S. The city outlines a number of example practices that could be considered offensive to those individuals.
Some of the behaviors that could incur fines under the new law include a hotel prohibiting housekeepers from speaking another language because it would "offend" guests or a restaurant owner harassing a patron because of their accent.
Last month, a New York City judge recommended that a landlord pay $17,000 in fines for threatening to call ICE on an undocumented tenant. Sapna V. Raj, the deputy commissioner for the law enforcement bureau of the city's Commission on Human Rights, told CNN at the time that the case set an "important precedent" involving the "weaponization of ICE."
The new law also places new restrictions on "bias-based" profiling by city law enforcement.
“All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe and secure in their workplace, their homes, and their neighborhoods," Steve Choi, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said in last Thursday's statement.
New York City's ban comes just months after Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN that undocumented immigrations were "core to our economy," calling for a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented individuals currently living in the U.S. His comments at the time came with a rebuke of President Trump's immigration policy.
"[Trump's] slogan should be: 'Make America hate again,' because he's trying to foment division as a political campaign," de Blasio said.