Who else wrote the list? | Buzz Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who else wrote the list?

Posted By on July 29, 2010, 2:57 PM

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Local media have put their crosshairs on the second state worker implicated in using private information to create the infamous “list.” But what about the people involved in identifying the 200 or so people whose information wasn’t in the Department of Workforce Services database?---

When DWS began cross-referencing names from the list with their databases they were able to track down the identities of two former employees who were implicated as those who gathered the data for creation of the list of 1,300 alleged undocumented immigrants. The list was sent to local media and law enforcement agencies as a call by the group to ensure that the individuals were deported as soon as possible.

Recent reports have identified one Teresa Basset, a computer specialist, and Leah Carson, an imaging specialist, as the individuals responsible for accessing private information from DWS databases to make the immigration list. While DWS can trace the source of approximately 1,100 names to its files it cannot account for roughly 200 other names of alleged “illegals” on the list.

Department of Workforce Services spokesperson Curt Stewart says that the list had uniformity to it throughout that includes basic information like names and social security numbers. “All of the information was more or less the same,” Stewart says. He says that DWS database information would have included cross referenced information from collaborating agencies that would have added to the files of the individuals on the list. Agencies like Social Security, WIC, and Medicaid. That being said, he reaffirms, that DWS cannot account on their databases for where the information on the roughly 200 other people came from.

In their cover letter, the group that called itself the “Concerned Citizens of the United States” purported to have gathered the information by observing undocumented communities and infiltrating them with Spanish-speaking allies. The letter conveyed the sense of a large organization conducting its own covert investigation into the presence of undocumented immigrants in the state. While recent reports have laid responsibility for the list at the hands of two individuals, some like Latino activist Tony Yapias still suspect there are more individuals involved who have yet to be identified. “I’ve always believed there were some co-conspirators from the outside,” Yapias says, adding that he had suspected they may have been radical members of anti-immigration groups like the Utah Minuteman Project.

Still Yapias is confident that the list was only compiled from hacked government databases. “[The names on the list] all came from workforce services, I talked to a lot of people on the list and they all said that was the only place it could have come from,” Yapias says. Yapias who has seen the list says the biggest indicator that the information is from a government source is that all the names are uniformly organized by address—reading like a government spreadsheet.

While Stewart of the Department of Workforce Services, however, has agreed that not all information was gathered from his agencies databases, he says DWS is still looking into where the other names could have come from.

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