Leaking of List of Illegal Immigrants in Utah Terrifies Latino Community

Utah officials identify two state workers who may be behind leak of list.

ByBy David Wright, Bonnie Mclean and Jessica Hopper
July 14, 2010, 7:12 PM

July 15, 2010— -- In Utah's Latino community, "The List" is causing a panic.

The 29 page printout includes the names of 1300 Utah residents of Latino descent with their addresses, phone numbers, workplaces and in some cases social security numbers.

Utah officials said that they have identified at least two state workers who accessed confidential documents that may have been used to create the list. The workers were from the Department of Workforce Services.

A group called Concerned Citizens of the United States mailed the list this week to media outlets and law enforcement agencies demanding the immediate deportation of those named.

"Some of the women on the list are pregnant," the cover letter warned. "And steps should be taken for immediate deportation."

In the letter, the group writes that they "observe these individuals in our neighborhoods, driving on our streets, working in our stores, attending our schools and entering our public welfare buildings."

They go on to write, "They need to go and go now."

'We Can All Be Torn Apart'

A Latino woman who asked that ABC News use only her first name, Guadalupe, is here legally, but some of her family members are on the list. They're terrified.

"My mother-in-law was almost in tears when she heard about it," Guadalupe said. "Just for someone putting a name on here, we can all be torn apart."

The information included in the list was so personal, it even included the names of children and the due dates of pregnant women on the list.

State officials now say that they have found evidence the sensitive personal information may have come from a state database. Officials said evidence will be delivered to the state attorney general Monday for possible prosecution.

The leaking comes as Utah lawmakers are considering immigration legislation similar to the tough, new law recently passed by Arizona.

Arizona's law, which takes effect July 29, allows police to ask anyone they suspect of being in the state illegally about their immigration status. Recently, the federal government filed a legal challenge to the law.

'Witch Hunt'

In Utah, members of the Hispanic community are terrified that the list will fuel deportation and racial profiling.

ABC News reached out to more than 50 names on the list. Most of them were not willing to talk to us.

One woman named Mina told us she's pregnant with her second child. She is scared that she'll be deported and separated from her two-year-old child, a U.S. citizen.

Many of the women appear to be illegal immigrants with children who were born in this country.

"I'm afraid sometimes to go out," said a woman named Alma whose name is on the list.

Another woman, too scared to show her face, said that she has a son and "he's from here and I don't want them to take him away."

"It's a witch hunt to Latinos. Let's choke them, let's find ways and means to get these people out," Tony Yapias, founder of Utah Latinos, said. "The immigration debate is at a new level. Now it's 'We're going to hunt you, we know where you live.' "

Common Denominator

One common denominator for many of the people on this list: they sought help from Utah's Department of Workforce Services. A disgruntled state employee there was recently caught on tape venting her outrage about illegal immigrants.

"It's not fair that this family gets food stamps, they get financials, husbands at home, they're dealing drugs," she said.

She's not alone in her feelings. Plenty of Utah residents said that authorities need to crack down on illegal immigration.

"If I had my druthers, we'd go down every name on that list and send them back where they came from," Eli Cawley from the Utah Minutemen said.

But authorities in Utah said it's unlikely that they'll start rounding up people on the list.

"I don't think it helps the circumstances right now," Utah Governor Gary Herbert said. "It can be like putting kerosene on fire."

The concern for some is that vigilantes may take action on their own just as the people circulating the list did in the first place.

The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.

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