Americas & Beyond
|Utah Vigilante Group Disseminates Deportation Hit List|
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July 16, 2010
An anonymous letter, recently distributed to law enforcement agencies and media outlets in Utah, contains a list of the names and addresses of over 1,300 supposedly undocumented immigrants that reside in that state, and calls for their immediate deportation.
The list was sent out, without a return address, this past Monday to government officials, police chiefs and media outlets in Salt Lake City and other cities in Utah.
The text of the document details the names, home addresses, dates of birth and telephone numbers of the allegedly undocumented immigrants. In some cases, the Social Security numbers of the individuals were disclosed as well. Almost all of the surnames of the immigrants listed were of Hispanic origin.
The list includes the names of both adults and children, and even notes that some of the identified women are pregnant [at times disclosing their expected date of delivery], stating that "steps should be taken for the immediate deportation [of these women]."
The letter was sent out by a group calling itself "Concerned Citizens of the United States," a hitherto unknown organization.
The envelope of the letter contained no return address, nor any other piece of information that would provide a means of contacting the group. The letter that accompanies the list begins, "We are enclosing a list of individuals who we strongly believe are in this country illegally and should be immediately deported."
According to the letter, the names on the list were gathered through the surveillance work of members of the group itself. "Our group observes these individuals in our neighborhoods, driving our streets, working in our stores, attending our schools and entering our public welfare buildings," the letter reads. "We then spend the time and effort needed to gather information along with legal Mexican nationals who infiltrate their social networks and help us obtain the necessary information we need to add them to our list."
Nevertheless, at least some of the data gathered by Concerned Citizens of the United States has so far proven itself to be inaccurate. On Tuesday, The Salt Lake City Tribune dialed several of the numbers mentioned on the list and found some of the lines to be disconnected. Other calls were answered by people who were not on the list.
One Peruvian-born woman, whose name was included on the list, said that the information about her and her family was accurate, but stated that one week prior she had received her official permanent residency in this country, after having lived in Utah for 14 years.
This same letter was sent to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last April. An ICE spokesperson confirmed that the document had been received "a few months back," but did not say whether or not any action had been taken regarding the matter.
Translation: Ryan Croken.
Ryan Croken is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. His essays and book reviews have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Z Magazine and ReligionDispatches.org. He can be reached at email@example.com.