SALT LAKE CITY — A list of 1,300 Utah residents described as illegal immigrants has sown fear among some Hispanics here, and prompted an investigation into its origins and dissemination.
Each page of the list is headed with the words “Illegal Immigrants” and each entry contains details about the individuals listed — from their address and telephone number to their date of birth and, in the case of pregnant women, their due dates. The letter was received by law enforcement and media outlets on Monday and Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Gov. Gary R. Herbert said Wednesday that an investigation was under way to see if state employees might have been involved in releasing the private information.
The first thing this story reminded me of was the packs of playing cards with leading Iraqi Baath party officials on them that were handed out to troops at the start of the Iraq War. This list in Utah does less to incite violence against its unwilling constituents than the Iraqi cards, but the underlying message is far more insidious since the people on the Utah list are innocent, peaceful people and the existence of the list will gin up ideas of vigilantism. Sure, the group behind the list declaims violence, but just creating this sort of clearinghouse of ethnonationalistic vomit will be a boon to the worst elements of society and any supposedly unintended consequences will be on the publishers’ hands.
What sort of people are on the list?
One Guatemalan man, who spoke only on condition that he be identified as Monzon, admitted that he was in the country illegally. He said he had tried hard to keep off lists of all sorts, essentially by being the best American he could — paying his taxes and staying out of debt.
“I have always tried to keep my record clean,” he said.
Pays taxes, stays out of debt, keeps a clean record–not only does this guy sound like the best American he can be, but also he sounds like a better American than a lot of the citizens-by-birth who are sucking this country dry.
Illegal immigrants wouldn’t be illegal immigrants anymore if we made immigration to our country free and reasonable, as it was when most of ancestors arrived. There are some immigrants who would like to game the system, but the vast majority are just people who want a shot at a better life. If illegal-haters loved this country as much as they claim and they were born on the other side of the Rio Grande, I wonder if they would rather stay in Mexico or break a dumb law to reach for their goals in the country of their dreams.
Hope for peace and keep the illegals in your heart.