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Utah Probes Leaked Illegal Immigrant List

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By Jason Beahm on July 15, 2010 12:47 PM

The state of Utah has launched an investigation after a list of 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants in Utah was leaked. The leaked illegal immigrant list included personal information, such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, workplaces, addresses and phone numbers. Even the due dates of pregnant women were included on the list. State agencies are looking into whether government employees played a part in the leaked illegal immigrant list.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert wrote on Twitter yesterday that he directly asked state agencies to investigate. "We've got some people in our technology department looking at it right now," said Dave Lewis, communication for the state Department of Workforce Services. "It's a high priority. We want to figure out the how's and why's."

An anonymous group mailed the list to several media outlets, law enforcement agencies and other groups. The list included a letter which demanded that the people be deported immediately. The fallout left minority communities concerned, especially the Hispanic community, as most of the names on the list were Hispanic.

"My phone has been ringing nonstop since this morning with people finding out they're on the list," said Tony Yapias, former director of the Utah Office of Hispanic Affairs. "They're feeling terrorized. They're very scared."

In the letter, the writers say their group:

Observes these individuals in our neighborhoods, driving on our streets, working in our stores, attending our schools and entering our public welfare buildings. We then...infiltrate their social networks and help us obtain the necessary information we need to add them to our list.

Virginia Kice, of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that ICE received the letter but said it is customary not to discuss whether anyone in particular is under investigation. She added that ICE focuses its efforts "first on those dangerous convicted criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities..."

Intentionally releasing a private record is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the AP reports. Stealing a protected record can land a person up to five years in prison.

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