Utah investigators have pinpointed the state Department of Workforce Services as the source of data used to compile a list of 1,300 people who are purportedly in the country illegally, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. The list consisted of names, addresses, birth dates, and phone numbers of about 1,300 people, including 201 children. It also lists places of employment, due dates for pregnant mothers and more than 30 Social Security numbers.
It is a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in prison or a $1,000 fine, to release protected information. It would also be a third degree felony, punishable up to five years in jail, if a keeper of records steals the information. However, there is a whistle- blower defense in the law if the individual who violates the law believes he or she is exposing government corruption, and Eli Cawley of the Utah Minuteman Project, said that protection could apply. “I believe whoever prepared the list is a patriot because they revealed violations of the law” committed by the immigrants, Cawley said. Latino activists say that sending the information to the media and to law enforcement was clearly meant to create a panic in the Latino community. This is psychological terrorism,” said Jose Gutierrez of the Utah Hispanic/Latino Coalition.