American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
July 16th, 2010
11:52 AM ET

Outrage over alleged illegal immigrant list

(CNN) - Utah officials are trying to determine whether government data were used to compile a list of more than 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants that included contact information, Social Security numbers and pregnancy due dates.

A state investigation is focusing on the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Gov. Gary Herbert's office said Thursday, because all information on the list is contained within that agency's database. Information from the investigation may be turned over to state prosecutors, a statement from the office said.

"They have very strong leads, first to indicate that it came from that agency and now it's just a process of drilling into the information a little deeper," governor's spokeswoman Angie Welling told CNN-affiliate KSTU.

The list was anonymously distributed to media and government offices across the state, the affiliate reported. An accompanying letter from "Concerned Citizens of the United States" insisted that those on the list should be deported immediately. Watch Video

Welling told the affiliate that if the investigation reveals any state employees were responsible for the leak, those people have no place working in the state government.

"When people do business with the state of Utah of any kind, they deserve to know that the information they provided is protected. That's the first issue. Then, immigration is the second issue," she said.

Earlier Thursday, a group of Latino activists told reporters that the list had sparked widespread fear.

"Our community is very concerned, very worried about it," said Tony Yapias with Proyecto Latino de Utah. "I would say they have been terrorized, many of them. People are just afraid of what's happening."

Those named on the list are even more frightened, said Jesus Ramos with the Utah Coalition of La Raza.

"For these 1,300 people, unfortunately that fear has escalated," he said. "There's an arrest warrant out, essentially. That fear never goes away."

Utah Minuteman Project co-chairman Eli Cawley told CNN-affiliate KSL that he had some concerns about privacy and how the names were procured, but he would have released a similar list if he could have.

"If it were a reliable list and it had come from a source that was acknowledged and vetted, then yes, I would absolutely support something like that," he said.

Yapias told KSL that he suspected an anonymous call he received June 30 from a woman claiming to be a state worker frustrated with illegal immigrants may have something to do with the incident.

Dave Lewis, a spokesman for the Department of Workforce Services, told KSL that investigators were poring over electronic records.

"We'll be looking for red flags, patterns, possibly personnel that don't have any business reason for being in that case," he said.

Utah State Sen. Luz Robles told KSTU that the state's investigation would determine how the data got out.

"I don't care how you feel about immigration. I've heard from my constituents. They want to make sure that their information is protected, so this goes beyond immigration. It's an attack on the integrity of your privacy," she said.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Observer5

    I wonder if the newspapers that were quick to publish the 91 stolen secret documents will publish any of this information on ILLEGAL aliens??????? How about it NY Times, Washington Post et al???

    July 30, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  2. jerry stewart

    The state of Utah is just embarrased that they got caught harboring and supporting illegals.

    July 29, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  3. Jimmy Mendoza

    What part of illegal do they not understand. I work for the highway department and there is about only three people that are white and no blacks and about 125 mexicans. All the mexicans that I talk to have homes in Mexico. We are not allowed to ask them if they are here illegally or if they are American citizens. They do not do just what Americans won't do. They are doing it all and knocking Americans out of the job market. Working for cheap wages are bringing down wages that people like me have fought to get to a decent wage. I feel that the people that hire them for cheap wages and make high profits are killing everything I have worked for all my life which is a decent living for my family. Illegal to me means illegal.

    July 29, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  4. Center guy 37

    this is completly illegal and a huge violation of a persons right to privacy but i have a very bad feeling that this is not the first nor the last time this will happen

    July 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Also, those baby due dates should be prioritized to get the mothers out of the country so the babies aren't born in the U.S. Anchor babies are going to be a problem.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  6. CactusJumper

    Although I do not normally approve of the invasion of privacy I am glad that someone cares enough about the US and it's citizens to release proof that illegal aliens are receiving welfare(medical/housing/food/education) paid for (unknowingly to many) with our tax dollars. Who gave the government the right to spend our tax dollars to support illegal aliens? Who gave the government the right to turn a blind eye to illegal entry into the US? I want to know. Do you?

    July 28, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  7. Richard Schein

    We have Terrorist Watch lists why not Illegal Immigrant lists? Illegal Immigrants drain Billions of Dollars made by honest hardworking American Citizens. They get free healthcare, Education, Welfare, and housing. And what does the Taxpayer get..The Bill

    July 28, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  8. Thomas from Reno

    Yes, it is an invasion of their privace, just as they're being here with illegal documents is illegal. Somewhere, sometime, someplace, in this country – we have to start enforcing our laws. Many of them are being ignored. Are we a nation of laws or not? Is the common citizen less represented than those who have advocacy groups behind them? Where is out Congress?

    July 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  9. RubyHen

    In my county a list with mugshots is sent out every day of the previous days arrests. How is this list any different? They just haven't been arrested yet.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  10. John Smith

    I agree send them to jail. Also give those ilegals amnesty,that will end this hate towards the color of peoples skin. Hey guys Hitler use to kill based on the color of their eyes. he believed green eyes had good and was better than any other color. Shame on us for being so racist,and for blaming others for our faults in this country.

    July 24, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  11. KnightTemplar

    And let me just address those people who say they do jobs that americans won't.

    If Americans got free health care, one dollar prescription cards, didn't have to pay taxes, and got cheap housing, to do these menial tasks, there wouldn't be any jobs open for illegals. But they don't.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  12. KnightTemplar

    Corky wrote: Yeah, investigate the employees (or employee) that released "Privacy" information such as SSN's. However, why is it that several other questions are NOT being asked?

    Is the SSA giving SSN's to "Illegal Aliens"?

    Are the ICE officials looking into these people? hmmm, how many ARE "Illegal"?

    Are state governments (and local) supporting “Illegal Aliens”?

    There is a lot being over looked here!

    SSA assigns numbers for legal immigrants who are here on a temporary visa, like students, visitors, etc. When they don't leave after their allotted time, the numbers are not repealed. What they do is get a job with that number using a different name. SSA doesn't "retire" these numbers when the visitor's time is up. Instead, the employer is tasked with verifying the employee is a legal immigrant. Obviously, this is a system lacking controls.

    There are many cities that have adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude and they are known as "sanctuary citys".
    Many states allow "illegals" to obtain a driver's license and they are forbidden to ask if they are here legally.

    In this environment, it is no wonder that illegals come here to work.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  13. KnightTemplar

    Tammy B said "If we conitnue to ignore people who make lists, next we will have another Joseph McCarthy in the Federal system who will demand lists of people he/she deems dangerous according to their warped sense of whatever."

    I agree Tammy, but somewhere along the line a list must be compiled of SSN's of suspected "illegals" to be investigated. Remember, they tend to use a different name each time they get a job.
    The only thing to track them is the stolen SSN that they have memorized. The IRS won't investigate, even when the valid SSN holder alerts them that they didn't work at the reported business.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  14. Tammy B

    The bigger problem here is that a State or Government agency should not be allowed to compile "lists" of anyone. Now it's the illegals....I agree with the Arizona law first off, however through LEGAL means to catch illegals....what will the next "list" be compiled of? People who aren't liked by someone at the State or Federal level? People who have religious affiliations that fit some stereotype of a "terrorist religion?" People with certain types of surnames? I know that people who have committed crimes or hopped the border illegally should be dealt with LEGALLY. If we conitnue to ignore people who make lists, next we will have another Joseph McCarthy in the Federal system who will demand lists of people he/she deems dangerous according to their warped sense of whatever. That's why we need laws like the Arizona law and more immigration reform to catch those here illegally using other people's identities. We don't need lists.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  15. Evelyn

    I live in Utah and I do support what the workers did in releasei the list.This list was given to ICE months ago and they ignored it.Our attorney general is a complete jerk. I doubt he bothered to tell CNN that he has been pushing to get foreign workers in to Utah on work visa's including workers from Mexico even though we have 7.5% unemployment and that does include those who have given up looking..With the job outlook what it is ,we need to demand our so called leaders enforce our laws and deport these people

    July 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  16. Stevehn

    I was reading somewhere that said they stole SSN from dead people. How they get away with this and have people from within government agency to support them is beyond me.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  17. Cynic

    I'm with MeLoN. The only way in which an illegal alien can obtain a Social Security Number is through fraudulent means. So one fraud perpetrates another. And another. And another.

    No, most of our immigrant ancestors didn't come here by sneaking over the border like thieves. They did it the legal way.

    You illegal-immigrant enablers: If your ancestors came here illegally (and I can only assume that they did because YOU, their descendants, repeatedly remark upon your ancestors' illegal status), then perhaps you should be asked to leave, as well.

    Why is it that I must spend thousands to bring my fiance here legally, but others think they should just get amnesty for doing the wrong thing? I don't know one legal immigrant who thinks that illegals should receive amnesty. The only ones who benefit from amnesty are those who came here illegally and those who profit from having them here.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  18. geoff

    There is no expectation of privacy awarded while committing an illegal act (ie defrauding the gov't). This country has gotten wonder we are losing our standing across the board worldwide. We are a spineless group.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  19. Elizabeth

    Plenty of individuals with no legal status in the US have legitimate social security numbers. "Illegal" doesn't necessarily mean "snuck across the border." It can mean "had a valid visa that is now expired." You do not have to be a citizen to obtain a social security number, only someone with legal status in the US. Once a social security number is issued it is yours for life, whether your status in the US expires or not. The lack of education among the anti-illegal immigrants group is astounding. Educate yourselves, it's not hard.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  20. michele

    I can hardly pay my own medical benefits – and I do not care and I DO NOT WANT to pay for those who get $1 prescriptions and free clinic and free multi-million offsprings. The Tax Payers are Stuck with these people who should have stayed in their Own Homeland.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  21. Dan G.

    It amazes me that the media seems to be more concerned with the rights of illegals than with the rights of American citizens. You rarely see them publish a story about identity theft, deaths, and the effect on local communities and government by illegals. I guess it doesn't paint a good picture for the progressive media if they run stories on illegals killing people via crime or accidents or stealing one's identity. They would rather publish fluff articles rather than show the actual adverse affects of illegal immigration.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  22. AZ Senior

    Ah, the zealots, is there a bigger threat to our domocarcy?

    July 19, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  23. austinj

    Most of the people on the list are legal US citizens. They were included on the list due to their race. This is a clear example of the consequences of the Arizona law – state sanctioned racism.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  24. Jack Brown

    Katie, that is so lame. Mayfolwer and illegal aliens, soo unconnected. We are now a civilized nation, if you can call it that. But for all the wet backs crossing the Rio Grande and trying to settle here as legal citizens, drawing from our social services to the point of bankrupting our nation. School systems are overloaded, free medical services, food assistance programs, and the list goes on. Once our forefathers settled this nation and made laws to govern the people by, we beacme a civilized nation. Some of those laws direct how many legal immigrants can enter so as to not disrupt the workforce,and that's exactly what illegals do. Send them home. Straight home, we don't need to feed them any longer. A one way bus ticket quick.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  25. Tj

    It amazes me that we will rush to catch and prosecute the person that leaked the information but nothing is being done about the illeagals. We do not protect our own ,but go out of our way to protect persons that should ot even be here. They collect social security, welfare, medical. All things that legal citizens have a difficult time obtainging.. It sickens me that we help everyone else. and do nothing to help our own......

    July 19, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  26. Dave

    Have any of you 'illegal-supporters' actually lived in a community that is filled with illegals? I have. It's amazing how quickly they destroy everything. If they could actually function in USA society at some standard level, perhaps people wouldn't 'hate' them so much. But they don't. They form their own communities and follow their own rules. Nobody wants to be around that.

    I know people who have been waiting eight years to legally come to the USA from Britain. These are hard working people that understand what decent standards of living are.

    Illegal border crossers should be rounded up and shipped back to country of origin regardless of situation (children etc). Think of all the jobs this would create. Repeat border crossers should be executed. Sure, everyone will cry and complain, but watch how nice these 'latino communities' become after all the illegal 'latinos' are gone.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  27. pat dunn

    The reason government agencies find it ok that illegals have social security numbers illegally is for their "numbers" and the money they receive – because then they get more funding.

    This is why social security and medicare are broke and will be even worse if there is amnesty – they never put the money into the system.
    Wake up everybody! It is not sustainable!

    July 19, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  28. pat dunn

    Enforce the laws equally. Illegal is illegal. How much of a drain do we have to endure on our hospitals, schools, and housing for them?

    Why do they have any rights or more rights than those in line waiting and becoming an American the right way?
    They really just want all the social services without paying taxes and learning English.

    Why is the Federal Government not going after the sanctuary cities?
    The liberals can't give up their cheap wine and cheap labor.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  29. Corky!

    Yeah, investigate the employees (or employee) that released "Privacy" information such as SSN's. However, why is it that several other questions are NOT being asked?

    Is the SSA giving SSN's to "Illegal Aliens"?

    Are the ICE officials looking into these people? hmmm, how many ARE "Illegal"?

    Are state governments (and local) supporting “Illegal Aliens”?

    There is a lot being over looked here!

    July 19, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  30. M. Pryor

    If I rob a bank to feed my family, that's illegal. My name goes on a list and people look for me. If you come to this country outside of proper channels it's illegal your name should go on a list and people should look for you. Between convicts in air conditioned, cable TV'd jail cells and paying people to be here illegally, I think americans pay too much for people that break the law.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  31. Katie

    Have you forgotten about the Mayflower? this ship was the first one to bring "illegal aliens" to the U.S.A. There were people already here when they arrived. Today the descendants of the original "illegal aliens" do not seem to remember the Mayflower except as a reference to point out they belong to some kind of aristocracy. Very funny!!! Aristocrat!!!???Nooo, "illegal Aliens" !!!!. U.S.A. is a great country founded on the shoulders of many "illegal aliens".

    July 19, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  32. doug

    Do illegals have rights? What's illegal about exposing illegals?

    July 19, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  33. Juli

    This is ridiculous. If I were in another country and was an illegal immigrant, I would get out of that country. Why should there be outrage of a listing of such people?

    July 19, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  34. Billy

    The seepage iin my opinion is probably caused by the shut-in wellhead pressure. Connect the flow hoses to the wellhead, start flowing the well to the collection vessels and that will reduce the wellhead pressure. Flowing the well will also relieve the pressure on the area of seepage.

    July 19, 2010 at 7:28 am |
  35. sasha

    not everyone on the list is here illegally, also many on the list are kids.

    July 19, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  36. RML

    Some person working within this system and seeing the fraud, waste and abuse of it to people who are not supposed to be receiving benefits, probably just couldn't stand it any longer.

    I think it is very disturbing that the focus is on "catching" the whistle-blower but not on investigating the known (and now published) information itself. Government does not want taxpayers to know how much tax money is spent on illegal aliens. $1,117 per taxpayer – per year and steadily increasing.

    July 19, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  37. David

    The person who leaked the data should be reprimanded for violating the public trust, but now that the list is out, what are the Utah authorities doing about those on the list? The key word is ILLEGAL immigrants. America should welcome all LEGAL immigrants, as most of us are descended from immigrants, and our society and culture has benefitted from diverse immigration. But we should not be forced to tolerate ILLEGAL immigrants any more than we should be forced to tolerate people breaking any other law. Why should anyone who entered this country illegally be given permission to remain here when there are millions more who have patiently waited through the legal immigration process?

    July 19, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  38. SwissGuard

    @realworld: It's easy to call everyone who disagrees with you a hater. It's not mature though.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  39. realworld

    People have become obsessed with illegal aliens, as if all 12 million arrived after Obama was elected. The haters are sure none of them work, they all are living high on the hog on the dole; did you not mind supporting them when the economy was better a few years ago?

    July 19, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  40. MeLoN

    Every illegal alien in the US should be on a list somewhere.... a list to be deported ... a list to be imprisoned – then deported...

    July 19, 2010 at 6:17 am |
  41. MeLoN

    How can illegal aliens get Social Security numbers by legal means? They can't. All illegals should be deported immediately.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:04 am |
  42. JustSaying

    SSN data on the list that some illegal is using has obviously been already compromised. If anyone on the list is found to be in the US legally and their information was made public in anyway, the ones responsible deserve to boundaries of the law. Illegals on the other hand have already illegally stolen the SSN and other personal data of a LEGAL US citizen – no mercy for them. Illegal means against the law ... PERIOD!

    July 19, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  43. brendan

    I still can't past the part that mentioned social security numbers that (supposedly) belong to illegals...

    July 19, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  44. Chris

    How can you be an illegal citizen (a non-citizen by definition) and obtain and have a SS#???? Something is fishy in Denmark here.

    July 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  45. Iven

    I don't know why you're investigating to find out who leaked a list of "Illegal" Aliens – because they should not be here anyway. I found the response from the Mexican group to be as offensive as the President of Mexican coming here and commenting on our emigration policies. Especially, since Mexico does such terrible things to the South and Central Americans encroaching on their southern border. Please stop protecting these free loaders and their anchor babies. If you think the 14th Ammendment protects anchor babies you are wrong. Please read it for yourself. It was written to correct a wrong perpetuated on slaves brought to our shores against their will. Americans do not want illegals here. We have protocols in place for emigration and they should be strictly enforced – period.

    July 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  46. Joe in Kalispell

    What is even more disturbing is that Utah documents actually identifies illegal aliens who are receiving taxpayer money. It was wrong to break the law to be a whistle blower but now that the list is out what happens to the payments to the illegals? Any illegal on the list receiving money has to have broken 2 or more fraud lays all of which are criminal felonies.

    July 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
  47. jp

    Illegals have no business here. Their privacy should have been respected but if their here illegally, then they need to go and have no benefits provided to them.

    July 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm |

    The only reason PRESIDENT OBAMA even tried to encourage the citizens of AMERICA to start going back down to the GULF on vacations was many of us had stopped going because of the spill and the business people were screaming and complaining about their financia losses they have been experiencing since the onset of the oil spill! That was just a kind jesture on his part, out of concern for the people down there who he knew were trying to get there businesses back up! HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO SAY A WORD!

    July 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm |

    I'm just sick and tired of the MEDIA spreading HATE for the HATERS, against PRESIDENT OBAMA! You all are so PETTY and EVIL! The man can't even go on a vacation without you complaining about where he and his family decides to go! Did the Bush family take their vacation in LOUISIANA during the so-called REHAB of KATRINA? HELL NO! Did THEY take a vacation to NEW YORK during and even after 911? I DON'T THINK SO! You DEMONS are going to pay heavy and hard for the way you are treating this president! MY GOD!

    July 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  50. tm1946

    My, my all the warm and fuzzies for ILLEGAL visitors. We have this undieing need to give them more than our citizens. You people worry me. Go to Mexico and commit an illegal act and see what happens. You live in your private snow white worlds and spew your vomit. Sorry but until the President, his staff, your elected reps both fed and state face the reality that being ILLEGAL is not noble or the proper way to be in the United States. And if that is racist, to bad.

    July 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  51. Ty

    i find it amusing that ILLEGAL immigrants and their protectors always seem to ignore the fact that these people have came here, jumped an international border by whatever means and have no legitimate claim to the US. this goes for ANY illegal immigrant from any nation. However it seems politicians are beginning to pander to the Latino community for votes. Ironic it is that they will support a population segment that cannot voter for them but do to the support of those illegals the politician gains favor or naturalized Latinos and in turn those votes. Completely terrible.

    July 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  52. PaulC

    I equate it to the Mel Gibson tapes.
    The information is true and embarrassing so someone has to pay but by all means don't anyone check to see if the people listed are truly illegal.
    Our immigration laws are a game designed by a preteen. We pretend to hunt you and you pretend to hide. The game ends when our double talking politicians "fix" the laws.

    July 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  53. Jim NY

    Yes, It is scary that our privacy is so frail nowadays. The way this information was obtained and circulated is criminal. Though I feel the frustration of illegal immigrants being allowed to stay in America. If this list exists, then so do other same lists. They are lists of contact information of known criminals and yet they are not being acted upon. Should illegal immigrants be afraid of arrest? All criminals should be afraid of being caught and facing the penalties of their crime. Illegal are afraid because they knowingly broke the law and are hiding from it. Catch the people responsible for leaking private information and prosecute them. But also catch the criminals of illegal immigration and prosecute them as well. The rules of breaking the law should be equal among all people, not just the ones we choose to enforce.

    July 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  54. Tammy B

    This kind of act does not help in the fight against illegal immigration. I agree there should be comprehensive immigration reform, however, there should never be a "list" of people with their private personal information distributed to dozens of agencies and media outlets. That is smack dab a witch hunt that doesn't help the proponents for immigration reform at all, and in fact causes more problems and gives opponents something to point at. A "list" should never be part of any of the immigration issue at all!

    July 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  55. AdamAL

    This is an outrage, those involved should not only be fired but prosecuted for terrorism, invasion of privacy, and illegal distribution of social security numbers of individuals.

    July 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm |