[Marxism] Utah nativism
daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 13:48:24 MDT 2010
Utah identifies 2 allegedly behind immigrant list
By BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press Writer Brock Vergakis, Associated
Press Writer – 21 mins ago [1:25 MST July 16, 2010]
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah officials said Friday they have identified at
least two state workers who apparently accessed confidential documents
to create a list of 1,300 purported illegal immigrants that was mailed
to law enforcement officials and the news media.
Gov. Gary Herbert said the employees work for the Department of
Workforce Services, which administers food stamp programs and other
public benefits. The employees have been placed on administrative
"It's a very small group. The people we've identified certainly have
some strong political opinions and seem to be frustrated with some of
the issues around immigration," said Kristen Cox, executive director
for the department. "I think it's an immense hypocrisy to talk about
taking people to task for being illegal and doing so by breaking the
Newspapers started receiving the list of names and personal
information this week, and its publicity created widespread fear in
the Hispanic community. The anonymous mailing said it also was sent to
immigration officials. It demanded that those on the list be deported,
although some named have said they are in the country legally.
"This tactic by these rogue employees to go out and to single out
individuals and their families, in some case falsely accusing people
of an illegal status, is in fact deplorable," Herbert said.
Cox said there may be a few more people implicated in the leak of the
names, but she's confident that the core group that is responsible has
Hispanic advocates applauded how quickly the state acted to find the
source of the leak and to assure the community that state policy
doesn't allow for just anyone to access private information.
"The governor took the first step today to bring that trust back
again," said Tony Yapias, former director of the Office of Hispanic
Intentionally releasing a private record in Utah is a misdemeanor
punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If someone
stole such a record, it could be prosecuted as a felony with a penalty
punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
"We will begin an immediate, aggressive, formal investigation," Utah
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff promised Friday on a conference call
with national and local Hispanic leaders.
Herbert said accessing the private information and distributing it to
federal immigration authorities is also a violation of federal law.
Shurtleff said he would seek the help of the U.S. attorney's office.
"We're talking serious, felony-level crimes," Shurtleff said.
The list contains Social Security numbers, birth dates, workplaces,
addresses and phone numbers. Names of children are included, along
with due dates of pregnant women.
Cox said most of the people on the list are there because their
children are receiving benefits.
Herbert said there are two benefits administered by the state — food
stamps and prenatal care — that would provide information that could
indicate someone is in the country illegally. The state keeps records
of the relatives of those receiving benefits because it has to know
what each person's household income is before benefits are issued.
Officials continued investigating the list Friday even though state
employees usually have the day off as part of the state's four-day
workweek to cut energy costs.
The investigation comes as Herbert, a Republican, prepares to host a
public immigration summit Tuesday. Herbert has said he will sign an
immigration bill into law next year if he's still in office, but it's
unclear how closely that bill might mirror one lawmakers recently
passed in Arizona.
Arizona's law, which takes effect July 29, directs police enforcing
other laws to determine a suspect's immigration status if there is
reason to believe the person is in the U.S. illegally. The Obama
administration has sued Arizona to throw out the law and keep other
states from copying it.
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