OGDEN -- The irony isn't lost on Eva Davila. For the past five years, Davila has collected regular paychecks from the Utah Department of Workforce Services as a licensed provider for the state's subsidized child care program. However, Davila maintains the dissemination of inaccurate information gleaned from that agency's records is now threatening her livelihood.
Davila, a native of Mexico who has a green card, was among 1,300 people included on a list of purported illegal immigrants that state officials say was compiled by two employees in the Department of Workforce Services and then sent to law enforcement and media outlets throughout the state.
"I feel like I'm safe (to earn a living in Utah) and then all of a sudden it backfires," said Davila, speaking through her 16-year-old daughter, Magali Campos.
During an interview Wednesday at her small apartment in east-central Ogden,
Davila said her problems began last week when the Spanish-language television network Telemundo aired the immigrant list during a newscast and her name and address were clearly shown.
But Gus Mena, a video editor for Telemundo Utah in Salt Lake City, said Wednesday that the station showed a picture of the list during a news story but names and addresses were not legible.
However, Davila insists she and several of her child care clients saw her name on Telemundo. After the newscast aired, she said, five of her 11 clients stopped bringing their children to her home, telling her they believe she is an illegal alien.
"It's not good for my job," she said regarding the impact the list has had on her business.
Davila also feels embarrassed to attend services at her Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' ward because some congregation members have questioned her immigration status.
She isn't sure how her name ended up on the list but believes it may have occurred as a result of her registration with the Department of Workforce Services as a child care provider.
Davila isn't currently licensed by the state because she recently moved and has to have her new residence inspected. However, she is still allowed to care for kids while completing the licensing process, according to state officials.
Campos said her mother is sure that the immigration list -- not her move to a new address -- is the reason some clients have left her.
"She told everyone that she was moving and would be able to take care of their kids," Campos said.
Davila, a native of Puebla, Mexico, moved illegally to Los Angeles in 1996. Four years later, she relocated to Ogden and married her second husband, Augustine Davila, who is a U.S. citizen and a Head Start teacher, and got her green card.
Pictures of the couple's three daughters and one son can be seen in her tidy apartment.
Davila's walls are also adorned with pictures of her and her husband on their wedding day at the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
Davila said since moving to the U.S., she has tried to be a good citizen by paying her taxes and working toward a General Equivalency Diploma that she expects to receive in August.
She also hopes to become a citizen next year.
Davila also blamed the heated immigration debate in Utah on those who enter the U.S. illegally and then commit crimes.
"The law has gotten harder," she said. "It's been ourselves (those who come into the country illegally) not obeying the laws of Utah."
Meanwhile, the Utah Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday it has begun a criminal investigation regarding the creation and distribution of the list.
"Our investigation will be thorough and swift," Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said in a prepared statement.
"If there is evidence of wrongdoing, we will pursue the appropriate action."