[Marxism] Utah nativism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 15 07:24:06 MDT 2010


NY Times July 14, 2010
‘Immigrant’ List Sets Off Fears
By KIRK JOHNSON

SALT LAKE CITY — A list of 1,300 Utah residents described as 
illegal immigrants has sown fear among some Hispanics here, and 
prompted an investigation into its origins and dissemination.

Each page of the list is headed with the words “Illegal 
Immigrants” and each entry contains details about the individuals 
listed — from their address and telephone number to their date of 
birth and, in the case of pregnant women, their due dates. The 
letter was received by law enforcement and media outlets on Monday 
and Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Gov. Gary R. Herbert said Wednesday 
that an investigation was under way to see if state employees 
might have been involved in releasing the private information.

A memorandum accompanying the list said it was from Concerned 
Citizens of the United States. It urged immediate deportation 
proceedings against the people listed, as well as publication of 
their names by the news media.

The memo said an earlier version of the list had been sent to 
federal immigration officials in April. It promised that more 
names would be forthcoming, and promised authorities, “We will be 
listening and watching.”

“We are not violent, nor do we support violence,” the letter said.

A spokeswoman for United States Customs and Immigration 
Enforcement confirmed that the agency had received a letter from 
the group, dated in early April.

The list came at a time of increased tension over illegal 
immigration, both in Utah and in the country, two weeks before 
neighboring Arizona enacts a tough new law aimed at fighting 
illegal immigration. The federal government has sued Arizona over 
the law. Here in Salt Lake City, a group of state lawmakers is 
drafting a bill patterned after it.

Several people on the list expressed anxiety that their personal 
information had been released, and said they were concerned about 
their safety and that of their families. Some of those on the list 
said the heightened pressure could force them from the country.

One Guatemalan man, who spoke only on condition that he be 
identified as Monzon, admitted that he was in the country 
illegally. He said he had tried hard to keep off lists of all 
sorts, essentially by being the best American he could — paying 
his taxes and staying out of debt.

“I have always tried to keep my record clean,” he said.

But he struck a fatalistic note that might please the letter 
writers: “It might just be time to reflect and think if the time 
has come to leave,” he said.

A woman who identified herself as Liset said she was from Mexico 
and in the United States illegally. She said that her 2-year-old 
son was born in the United States, but that she had filed papers 
to give him Mexican citizenship as well.

“If something were to happen he will go with me to Mexico,” she 
said. She said she believed her personal information on the list 
came from her application for Medicaid. As for what it was like 
having reporters call, reading from a sheaf of papers containing 
large and small details about her life, she said, “I find it 
strange that you know so many things.”

Angie Welling, a spokeswoman for Governor Herbert, a Republican, 
said that the release of the material was significant, but that 
the specificity of detail was even more troubling.

“Any release of private information of this nature, especially the 
depth and breadth of it, is concerning,” Ms. Welling said. “The 
governor wants to be sure that a state agency wasn’t involved, and 
if it was, to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and to get to the 
bottom of who was responsible.”

Improper release of information from state records is a 
misdemeanor. The medical information on the list, however, from 
the notations about pregnancies, could potentially elevate the 
criminal implications far beyond that, to felony charges and 
lengthy prison sentences, for violation of federal medical privacy 
laws.

Proyecto Latino de Utah, one of the most prominent immigrant 
advocacy organizations in the state, received many frantic calls 
on Wednesday. People had heard about the list, but because no 
major news organization has actually published its full contents, 
the callers mainly wanted to know one thing: Am I on it?

“Nine missed calls this morning,” said Tony Yapías, the group’s 
director, glancing at his cellphone in an interview in his office. 
Most of the callers, he said, were not on the list.

One woman said that not knowing what could unfold next was the 
worst thing. “What’s going to happen?” she asked.

Mr. Yapías, the former director of the state’s Office of Hispanic 
Affairs, said he was convinced that the list had come from the 
State Department of Workforce Services, an agency that combines 
resources for job seekers, employers and people seeking assistance 
like food stamps or Medicaid. The list includes information that 
other agencies might collect, he said, but Workforce Services’ 
application form includes a question that other information-laden 
agencies like the Division of Motor Vehicles, for example, would 
not ever ask: “Is anyone in your home currently pregnant?”

Ms. Welling at the governor’s office said that the state’s 
Department of Technology Services was leading the investigation, 
looking into whether a digital trail might been left behind if 
state computers were used to prepare the list. She said that 
Workforce Services, in particular, was doing its own 
investigation, which she called “extensive.”

She said that to her knowledge no state agency had started any 
investigations of individuals based on the list.

A spokesman the Department of Workforce Services, Dave Lewis, said 
a team of information specialists was looking for patterns — 
whether the computer formatting would provide clues about the 
document’s origin or creation and whether there had been any 
unusual activity in people accessing that information inside the 
agency.

For people who found themselves named and workers in Utah’s 
government alike, the result was a real-life version of the old 
childhood game of “Telephone.” Information had leaked out from 
somewhere. Where? Was it accurate? Who had compiled it? Who now 
had copies of the list and where might the chain of whispers go 
from here? Would the leakers be found?




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