The article headline calls it a “controversial” website, but the author doesn’t say why it’s controversial. Oops! From khou.com
by Shern-Min Chow / 11 News khou.com
Posted on July 13, 2010 at 11:31 PM
Updated Wednesday, Jul 14 at 12:36 PM
HOUSTON — A new website that went live this month, boasts that it is “the first public anonymous publishing service for reporting on illegal alien activity in the United States.”
IllegalAlienReport.com is the brainchild of 26-year-old George O’Brien, who has been following the illegal immigration debate with interest.
“I realized I wouldn’t recognize an illegal alien if one was standing right next to me,” O’Brien said.
Anyone can anonymously post information about undocumented immigrants and companies that employ them. O’Brien said he also wants it to be a forum for vigorous debate and a place where undocumented workers can also report bad bosses.
The website does have rules in place: no bad words, generally no using children’s names or photos, residential street addresses are not allowed. Any personal experiences posted must be “100% true.”
How is all that being enforced, 11 News asked O’brien.
“I’m just one guy,” he said.
The webmaster by trade said he has an automated check system and promises to bust violators.
Even so, is this legal?
“Certainly it’s legal. The First Amendment protects this,” 11 News Legal Analyst and South Texas College of Law Dean Gerald Treece said.
Treece added, if a posting is plain wrong, the victim can sue the writer.
The victim can also sue the webmaster, if he’s been alerted and “the webmaster knows it’s false and doesn’t take it down,” said Treece.
O’Brien said he sees his website as an alternative to the controversial Arizona law.
“As opposed to randomly pulling people over looking for their paperwork,” he said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had no comment on the website.
It said it receives leads from many confidential sources. Many of the leads are reported to the ICE 24/7 toll-free hotline at: 866-347-2423.