The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU of Utah) this week joined with 120 other civil rights organizations and individuals nationwide to urge Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano categorically to reject use by DHS of the now-infamous “list” of 1,300 Utah residents who are allegedly in the country unlawfully. Noting the almost universal condemnation of the list across the political spectrum, the letter asks that Secretary Napolitano:
• Issue a public statement unequivocally rejecting the Utah blacklist and this kind of vigilante approach to immigration enforcement;
• Commit not to rely on information furnished in the blacklist to pursue any immigration investigations or enforcement actions;
• Notify all ICE officers and trial attorneys that they may not rely on the blacklist for purposes of immigration investigations, arrests, detention, prosecutions, or removals; and
• Inform all 121 organizations that signed the letter of what actions, if any, ICE undertook when it first received the blacklist in early April.
“This type of list, created illegally by state employees utilizing confidential government databases, serves only to inspire fear and distrust in our communities,” said ACLU of Utah Executive Director Karen McCreary. “For the government to utilize information that was compiled and released in violation of state and federal laws would only encourage future acts of vigilantism and breaches of privacy.”Signatories to the letter include the ACLU of Utah, as well as 24 other Utah-based civil rights groups and individuals. A total of 121 organizations and individuals nationwide—including 39 national organizations and 82 entities and individuals from California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington—joined in the call to action.