Naked Idiocy in New York

Decades ago, Times Square, Herald Square and other New York tourist areas gave birth to a cottage industry of costumed street performers who earn a living by posing for photographs with Gotham’s many visitors. Typically, these performers dress as pop-culture characters associated with New York, like Spiderman or Batman, and ask for small donations to pose for a photo.

A few years ago, women wearing only thongs and silicone body paint – mostly Hispanic illegal aliens – began appearing amongst the Hulk and Betty Boop impersonators. They are referred to as desnudas (Spanish for “nude women”) and are known for being hyper-aggressive when hustling for tips.

They’re also accompanied by all the public safety problems usually associated with unregulated nude entertainment.  And their presence has prompted many observers (New York Governor Andrew Cuomo among them) to comment that Times Square is regressing to the “bad old days,” when it was an unsafe neighborhood associated with prostitution and the drug trade.

In 2015, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio vowed to crack down on aggressive cartoon characters and nude women in Times Square. But, NYPD officers are now saying that they are deliberately avoiding enforcement actions against rowdy street performers because they believe the majority are illegal aliens and they don’t want to violate Mayor DiBlasio’s sanctuary policies.

The Times Square situation illustrates one of the biggest problems with sanctuary city policies: They trivialize immigration violations. In so doing, they create an excuse for playing down crime committed by immigration violators. What begins as local authorities refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities inevitably ends badly. It morphs into pressure on police officers to ignore lesser crimes committed by illegal aliens, in order to avoid triggering deportations. And in many cases, such policies lead to blatant harboring of illegal aliens, in flagrant violation of federal laws.

When law enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to violations of the laws they are charged with enforcing, it sends a clear message: illegal behavior will be tolerated, ignore the law and do what you will. In the case of illegal aliens, this is a double whammy, it says, “You can violate our immigration laws and our criminal laws without being punished.” But we should be sending a very different message. Something along the lines of: “Don’t come here uninvited. And when you are a guest here, obey our laws or go home.”

Former mayor Rudi Giuliani changed Times Square from an open-air drug market surrounded by pornographic bookstores into a premier attraction filled with family-friendly venues. He didn’t do that by being overly tolerant of bad behavior. But Mayor Giuliani understood what every parent, teacher, parole officer and priest understands intuitively – condoning bad behavior just leads to more bad behavior.

So maybe it’s time for Bill DiBlasio to tell the desnudas to put their clothes on and go home. New York City may be unique. Yet in this instance, it’s a microcosm of Everytown, USA. We Americans want our country back and we are tired of the naked idiocy so often displayed by our state and local leaders when it comes to immigration policy.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    It is quite apparent that there are no laws or morals in New York. diblassio has jut declared a free society with no consequences for any actions anyone takes. The illegals are getting preferential treatment better than anything Americans are being granted. Maybe we should all cross the border into Mexico and then “sneak” back in as an illegal so we can be treated so well.

  2. avatar

    Well, they lack boundaries with their bodies, so I guess it is not surprising they do not respect boundaries in terms of countries, their (vulgar) language and gestures, staying in the areas where they are supposed to, etc. Everyone, including them, would benefit from some grown ups enforcing some boundaries for them.

  3. avatar

    Sanctuary Cities are nothing more than holding pens for prey for Illegal Alien Criminals. Never mentioned is the existence of the U Visa which protects Illegal Aliens who report or are a victim of crime. I wonder why?
    U.S.Sanctuary Bills in Maryland Faced a Surprise Foe: Legal Immigrants

    “The failure of the sanctuary bills in Maryland reveals a potentially troublesome fissure for Democrats as they rush to defy Mr. Trump. Their party has staked out an activist position built around protecting undocumented immigrants. But it is one that has alienated many who might have been expected to support it.”

    Obama administration has admitted that Sanctuary Cities are a problem:

    But, within the above letter, doesn’t really address what the Obama administration will actually do about it to protect US Citizens:

    IGS poll: Californians oppose sanctuary city policies

    “Californians strongly oppose “sanctuary city” policies under which local authorities ignore federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested but are about to be released, according to a new poll released today by the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at UC Berkeley.”

  4. avatar

    Mayor Giuliani also welcomed illegal aliens because they created wealth in NYC.

    Only the criminals do not..

    • avatar

      BTW Everything was fine n nobody cared until after nine eleven about the illegals.. they were invited…..a lot of people know nothing about it sit their butts at a desk it home n are conditioned into a cult being brainwashed that all illegals are criminals n bad. such myth….

  5. avatar

    Your article ‘Naked Idiocy in New York’ is one of the most ill informed articles I have ever read about the great City of New York. It is the safest, most visited large city in America. Times Square is not even close to what it used to be. It is a tourist Mecca of stores, restaurants and shows, and people from all over the country flock there by the thousands. Try actually going there before you criticize our great city.

    • avatar

      I have been to New York for work. Food and lodging are extremely expensive. The people there range from being aloof to out right rude. Unlike the majority of the US, it is not designed for the use of a personal auto. Toll roads abound and their is no parking without fees. Like most big cities, you need to be aware of were you are at all times. Tourist and affluent areas are given priority for policing. Outside of that the risk of crime increases dramatically and would be avoided by most people. Go there once see the sights, maybe watch the ball drop. Go back again, I do not think so. I would rather spend my vacation at the lake.

    • avatar
      George Tyrebyter on

      I’ve been to NYC many times. I always wonder why. The food prices are insane. The pizza is good, but not worth the hassle. The crowds are insane. We tried to go to a museum on the free day, and had to wait 3 hours to get in. My daughter lives there, and she gets called a racist every time some black woman wants to cut in line in front of her. She can’t wait to leave. I sure won’t be back. I certainly am not interested in getting some nude illegal screaming at me about a tip.

      • avatar

        Visiting New York City about once every 25 years or so is enough for me (and I am only in my 40s :)). It’s just dirty and disgusting, imo.