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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

‘Immigrant’ List Sets Off Fears

The below Utah article reporting a detailed list of 1,300 Utah residents labeled “illegal immigrants” being sent to law enforcement and media. could get some traction just like the Kennesaw State University incident.

The emphasis is the article is not what if anything will be done about those on the list if they are illegal immigrants. Rather it is all about who sent the information in and where did they get it from.

This reaction is similar to that taken by lawmakers in Arizona. Each reflects an impression that there is a need to act because of a perception that the federal government is not.

From The New York Times:

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.”

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.

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.

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