A group calling itself “The Concerned Citizens of the United States” sent out an information packet to media outlets and local law enforcement agencies including the Utah office of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement today that identified 1,300 alleged undocumented immigrants in the state. The group purports that insider research was used to identify the identity of immigrants residing in the country illegally. Some information contained addresses and social security numbers. Other information highlighted pregnant women with notations on when they were expected to give birth.
In July 2009, City Weekly reported on a meeting held by the Utah Minuteman Project where board chair Eli Cawley discussed with members ways to use the passage of SB 81 to step up their campaigns against undocumented immigrants. S.B. 81, the immigration omnibus bill that allowed for law enforcement to be cross-deputized with ICE duties and also allowed for businesses to e-verify the status of workers had just gone into effect at the time of the July meeting. Cawley told members: “The enactment of these state laws may provide a bit more teeth, so that we can justify trying to put pressure on these people to enforce [immigration laws].”
The members discussed the idea of recruiting sympathetic company insiders who could give the group information about undocumented employees and then using the information to challenge management. “Pretty soon you empty out those plants,” said Minuteman member Norm Davis. Cawley could not be reached for comment for this post.
Former Minuteman board member and founder Alex Segura, however, says the group he started has no involvement in the mailing. “The minutemen wouldn’t be involved in that at all,” Segura says. “We’re more of a lobby group to get the Legislature to get police to create enforcement efforts. The Minutemen are not about targeting immigrants.”
Segura admits he has been out of touch with the group he founded, noting a rift between himself and current leader Cawley, who he says “has dropped the ball” with the group. He also admits he has not attended any recent meetings of the group.