Civil rights groups from Utah and around the country are calling on the federal government to reject using the "list" against illegal immigrants.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah announced Thursday it had joined 120 other organizations and individuals to urge the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to avoid the investigative use of the anonymously released list of 1,300 people in Utah who are described as illegal immigrants.
"This type of list, created illegally by state employees utilizing confidential government databases, serves only to inspire fear and distrust in our communities," wrote ACLU of Utah Executive Director Karen McCreary.
Among the supporters of the ACLU letter dated July 27 are various national groups, 24 Utah organizations, and individuals such as Jesse Garcia, a former Ogden City Council member.
"Confidential information is important to anyone. It should not be used in any manner," said Garcia.
The request comes during an ongoing state investigation into the release earlier this month of the names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of people listed on a 30-page document.
Two state employees have been accused of compiling the list.
The document, sent to at least a dozen Utah agencies and media outlets, calls for the people on the list to be deported.
"We are tired of seeing our country -- and our state -- continue to allow illegal immigrants to remain here," wrote the unknown author.
According to the Utah Attorney General, the publication of the list likely violated state and federal privacy laws,
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has said he will target the sender but believes the rest of the authority to investigate the list belongs under federal jurisdiction.
The ACLU asks DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to:
SBlt Issue a public statement unequivocally rejecting the Utah blacklist and a vigilante approach to immigration enforcement;
SBlt Commit not to rely on information furnished in the list to pursue any immigration investigations or enforcement actions;
SBlt Notify all officers and trial attorneys of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they may not rely on the list for purposes of immigration investigations, arrests, detention, prosecutions, or removals; and
SBlt Inform all 121 organizations that signed the letter of what actions, if any, ICE undertook when it first received the list in early April.
ICE officials confirmed receiving the list but declined to say whether anyone on it is being investigated.