Concerned Busybodies of Zion

…they claim to have infiltrated Utah undocumented aliens’ social networks. So don’t Tweet, poor downtrodden brown Utahns! Change your Facebook status to “In Hiding!” #fb #immigration

Honestly, when I first shared this story from the Trib, I didn’t realize it’d have such legs, but I’ve been hearing it on NPR, and seeing it everywhere in my feed. And I’m glad it’s getting wide coverage, because it’s a very troubling and disturbing story indeed.

Mystery group lists 1,300 in Utah it claims are undocumented immigrants | The Salt Lake Tribune

“We then spend the time and effort needed to gather information along with legal Mexican nationals who infiltrate their social networks and help us obtain the necessary information we need to add them to our list,” the letter explains.

The accuracy of the list is unclear. Some phone numbers were disconnected or answered by a different person.

A West Valley City woman said the contact information for her and her family is correct, but she became a permanent resident earlier this week. The Peruvian woman, whom The Tribune is not identifying, said she has been in Utah 14 years.

“I don’t even know who would send out a paper like that,” she said.

Compiling and distributing the list itself could be illegal. If the compilers took data from state or local databases not available to the public, they could be charged with a misdemeanor under state law, said Jeff Hunt, a Utah media attorney. If the group lied to obtain the data, that could be fraud.

Asked whether he was aware of similar efforts, Hunt said, “I’ve never heard of anything close.”

A note next to one Clearfield woman on the list said, “Baby due 4/4/10.”

She confirmed to The Tribune she has a baby, but she said she lives in the United States legally.

What’s troubling and disturbing to the Concerned Busybodies of Zion, which will turn out to be one passive-agressive gamma male paleo-conservative who can’t even get elected president of his local LDS stake, is that LAWBREAKERS ARE GOING UNPUNISHED.

Illegal aliens are here illegally, you see, and thus a crime is being committed every! moment! they! are! here!

What’s troubling and disturbing to me, and everyone else, is that some fussy passive-agressive dickwad with more access to confidential medical records than ought to be allowed has illegally passed along information that is probably covered under that law where your doctor’s office makes you sign a form attesting to the confidentiality of your records every year.

UPDATE: to clarify my poorly developed stream of unconsciousness here, I was wondering who the mystery group was, and how they might have easily gathered the confidential information. As it has turned out, the “mystery group” turned out to be two women, one an employee of a Utah state agency, and one who was a temp. So my guess was wrong – I had speculated that someone had gained access to a non-profit’s records, and the largest non-profit social service group I knew of that focused on the Latino community in Utah was Crossroads Community Center.

The comments threads on the Salt Lake Tribune’s followup stories have been rather hair-raising, to say the least. BECAUSE THE CRIMINALS THEY GO UNPUNISHED! Anyway, my guess that the group had collated the “brownlist” from Crossroads’ records was wrong, drat it. On the other hand, they are in much, much bigger trouble for accessing Utah state records from their place of employment.

The only way it would be relatively simple to gather the kind of data that’s in this list is via medical records at a public clinic, such as one connected somehow to a cultural center for Latinos (in Salt Lake, the big one would be Crossroads Urban Center, which has a very basic and frames-based website indeed. So I can’t link directly to their privacy policy, but here it is:

DONOR AND CLIENT INFORMATION PRIVACY POLICY

Information collected from donors and clients of Crossroads Urban Center is never made available to anyone outside the organization. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, and dates and amounts of any donations made or services rendered.
No information regarding visitors to the Crossroads Urban Center website is currently being collected by Crossroads.

You may review any information Crossroads may have on file regarding you, or request correction of such information, by contacting Jim Hokom(email) at Crossroads. Because no donor or client information is shared outside the organization, an opt out provision regarding the sharing of said information is deemed unnecessary. You may, however, contact Crossroads’ Executive Director, Glenn Bailey(email), to verify this policy at any time.
All information about donors and clients of Crossroads is secured internally at Crossroads. We are currently not making use of any outside servers or data management systems outside our immediate control.

That certainly seems like a very firm and reasonable privacy policy, so I’d be very surprised if some secret-agenty Concerned Busybody would actually BREAK THE LAW or DO SOMETHING AGAINST POLICY by passing along personal information to ICE (who isn’t all that interested in it, frankly) or to the Salt Lake Trib (who are probably happy with all the extra hits on their recently redesigned Internets tubes).

There may be some other group that offers medical care whose records might not be secure, but Crossroads is probably hurting for donations for their FOOD PANTRY THAT FEEDS CHILDREN THAT ARE COMMITTING THE CRIME OF BEING POOR AND BROWN and so forth, and you can doniate via something called Network for Good, or donate time, food, clothing, or something off their Wish List.

They do good work and they don’t discriminate: if you’re poor, but not a citizen, all that matters is that you are in need.

Amongst all the hoo-ha the national press is kicking up about this “illegal alien LIST OF SHAME AND PREGNIT WIMMIN” story is a very small detail that makes me feel proud, sad and exasperated at the same time. The Crossroads Urban Center is part of a group called CORC, or Coalition of Religious Communities. The member organizations are listed (in a desperately sad little table, can’t some kind web designer help them??):

Religious Communities Represented

in the CORC Coalition

American Baptist Baha’i (Orthodox)
Buddhist
Catholic
Christian (Disciples of Christ) Episcopal
Greek Orthodox Humanist
Independent Baptist Islamic Society of Utah
Jewish Lutheran
Metropolitan Community Church Presbyterian
Relgious Society of Friends (Quaker) Unitarian
Univeralist
United Church of Christ United Methodist
Affiliate:
Mormons for Equality & Social Justice (MESJ)

Yeah, that’s right – all the major mainline and world religions represented, including the Baha’is and Buddhists and Moslems AND JEWS, together! Except, the One True Religion (That Is The Only One That Matters And The Only One You Need To Accept And Know Is True And Vote Republican For Time And All Eternity) is represented by a piddly little affiliate listing, for something called “Mormons for Equality and Social Justice.” Wow, it must really be a challenge to be in that last group, but I wish them all the best. May God bless the work they do and send them lots of volunteers and donations in kind.

Anyway, whilst Googling around for fodder material, I ran across an interesting site that rang a few warning bells for me.

The Center for Immigration Studies

Sounds academic and scholarly, doesn’t it? But this is what popped up when I Googled “Salt Lake Latino center” because I couldn’t remember Crossroad’s name:

Salt Lake City Police Chief Protecting Illegal Aliens
By Ronald W. Mortensen, June 3, 2010

Not too long ago, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank was in Washington along with other big-city police chiefs. They met with Attorney General Eric Holder to complain about how the newly enacted Arizona law (SB 1070) would inevitably lead to racial profiling of illegal aliens and how unfair it was.

So, just how fair is Chief Burbank?

Chief Burbank, who denies that he sees things in terms of race, spends an inordinate amount of time and resources proving that Latinos do not commit crimes in excessively high numbers. However, the chief fails to distinguish between Latinos who are legally in the United States and the estimated 100,000 illegal aliens in Utah who are primarily Latinos. (Note: Police Chief Burbank is the one who specifically focuses on Latino crime and it was the authors of a study that he commissioned who said, “Salt Lake City’s immigrant population is predominantly Latino”).

In addition, Chief Burbank conveniently overlooks the fact that a senior Social Security Administration official estimates that about 75 percent of all illegal aliens have fraudulent Social Security numbers. This is a felony. So, unless 75 percent of the general population is committing major felonies, it would appear that illegal aliens do indeed commit crime at an inordinately high rate.

In addition, based on investigations by Utah Workforce Services and the Utah Attorney General’s office, it is estimated that at least 50,000 Utah kids under age 18 have their identities being used primarily by illegal aliens to get jobs.

Under Utah law the use of another person’s identifying data, including their Social Security number, either knowingly or unknowing. is identity fraud, a felony.

Oh dear!! Let me run upstairs to fetch the costume jewelry pearls Mom left me so I can clutch them (since they’re too small to fit around my rather beefy neck, I can wear them as a bracelet looped over my wrist).

Very interesting. Mr Mortensen is very deeply concerned about ALL THIS ILLEGAL ALIENISM GOING UNPUNISHED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT. He quotes from rather dubious “sources” and “studies.” He is EXTREMELY CONCERNED ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT BY BROWN LATINO PEOPLES!

HE IS ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT ILLEGAL ALIENS CRYING “SANCTUARY! SANCTUARY!” OUTSIDE THE CATHEDRAL OF THE MADELEINE (okay that’s a stretch but I had a very Charles Laughton moment just now).

HE IS VERY CONCERNED THAT SALT LAKE POLICE CHIEF CHRIS BURBANK IS NOT ENFORCING THE LAW AND IN FACT IS REFUSING TO BELIEVE MR MORTENSEN’S IMPORTANT STATISTICS ABOUT THE BROWN PEOPLES COMMITTING ALL THE IDENTITY THEFT SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD ILLEGAL ALIEN LAWBREAKING THAT UTAH IS SUFFERING FROM OH MY!

(SORRY..sorry, caps key got stuck. Is there a CAPS ON CAPS key? or should I bold the most shouty bits?)

So what I think, the Salt Lake Tribune should ask the Center for Immigration Studies to comment on the story… because they’re very concerned citizens indeed. They claim to have “former government officials” and “retired university professors” on their roster, so they’re just the folks who would be a great resource. Also, it appears that Mr Mortensen is Utah-based, since many of his blog topics on the CIS.org site have a Utah slant.

Yes, kind of wondering if there could be a connection. Interesting, no? Si!

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6 thoughts on “Concerned Busybodies of Zion

  1. So are you saying that Crossroads Urban Center may be the mystery group sharing people’s information? What would be their motive?

  2. I don’t understand what you claiming? Crossroads is a ultra-left, even socialist leaning organization that would appear to be in favor of protecting illegal aliens. That’s not to say they don’t have a rouge employee who feels it their duty to rat out illegals, but it seems unlikely.

  3. No, need to make that clearer. I was wondering if the Center for Immigration Studies had any tenuous connection, because Utah illegal immigrants seemed to be a frequent topic for the one research fellow, Mortenson.

    Crossroads Urban Center seemed like a starting point for finding the security leak in the medical-records aspect, but a more recent Salt Lake Trib story noted that the common factor is that everyone on the list they’d contacted so far mentioned they’d had dealings with a state agency called “Work Force.”

    If that’s the connection, an employee there improperly passed along confidential records. I’ll get caught up on developments after work and clarify re Crossroads, though.

  4. Wow, Cookware. Ultra-left, socialist? Those are “dog-whistle” words used to attack those with which you do not agree.

    Frankly, I don’t care if they sing the Internationale and march around hollering “power to the people.” They feed and clothe hungry and poor people, they try to put them in touch with health care, they try to help people find jobs and affordable housing. What the hell is wrong with that? Not a damn thing; it is the Great Commission of Christ that tells us to feed, clothe, and welcome the poor. By your labeling system, Jesus Christ is a commie pinko socialist, too. The apostles shared the common purse, I believe, and they didn’t own property, and depended on the kindness of strangers.

    Wow! that Jesus sure was a rabble-rousing hippie, wasn’t he?

    Crossroads is a social-service agency – they help poor people who generally turn out to be brown, who tend to fall through the cracks in Utah. This was true in the Seventies when my otherwise totally white-bread, mainline Protestant church in Salt Lake supported them with donations, and I believe this is true today. They got support from the religious communities listed in the table, plus others that aren’t listed (my old church isn’t, which may be an oversight).

  5. Sorry it took so long for me to get back and explain what I meant by “ultra-left, even socialist” organization, if you read the group’s own website you’ll see my justification in calling them out for what they are.

    By Crossroads and the CORC’s own admission, the groups believe in a progressive tax rate, compulsorily (via taxation) contributions to sustain the poor, reduction in corporate tax credits (http://www.crossroads-u-c.org/)and general redistribution of wealth. On the group’s Facebook page, many members openly advocate the philosophy of “social justice” for all members of society. Social Justice is nothing more than the socialism cloaked in the guise of religion. Linda Hilton, one of leaders of Crossroads, openly admitted in a letter to the editor in the Ogden Standard Examiner that she was a socialist!

    I don’t knock Crossroads because of its own charitable acts, or the charitable acts of its members. Crossroads may have once focused more on the individual and voluntary acts of charity for the less fortunate. However in the past decade it has focused more of its energies on supporting the poor through compulsory means (government subsidies, redistribution of wealth, legislation,etc.) I call Crossroads Urban Center out as a ultra-leftist organization because the group believes in ultra-leftist philosophies.

    I agree with you that Christ did command us to feed and clothe the poor. However, that commandment was given to his followers (us as individuals)and not Caesar (the government). Crossroads takes the opposite approach. It appears through their ongoing actions, that government is the answer to poverty. They get the majority of their current support through the government funding. The lessons from the Great Society and history repeatedly show us that government is not the answer to poverty. We, as individuals, committed to providing for the less fortunate are, and if we fail, then we should be judged accordingly by God.

    I’m not a bomb thrower, I’m stating the facts about the Crossroads Urban Center as I understand them. The group is leftist, plain and simple.

  6. So WHAT if Crossroads is a leftist organization? They should ALL be voting Democratic and sending lobbyists to the Utah legislature, because the Republicans sure won’t help them. However, given the political realities in Utah, they shouldn’t waste their money.

    I am a leftist: I am a progressive, proud, liberal Democrat and I am definitely pretty far left of center in my political views. Are you here to denounce me as a leftist, too? Well, I might need to dig out my Pete Seeger CDs and start singing protest songs before somebody blackballs me and gets me fired from blogging.

    Surely you admit that sounds pretty ridiculous, slinging “leftist” around like it’s supposed to be an insulting epithet. It’s not.

    At least, it stopped being an insult back when Joe McCarthy was in office. The thought that someone thinks it’s some kind of terrible crime to be a leftist is quite disturbing to me, personally.

    Crossroads is a social service agency, not a political group, so again, who cares if they’re a bunch of Communists so long as they feed the hungry? Remember, this is Utah we’re talking about; it’s extremely likely that the people running Crossroads would be considered only moderate Democrats in any other state. Utah is funny like that.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with social justice. Jesus preached justice for the poor and downtrodden; Jesus preached social justice in his generation. How miraculously progressive, in a time when goat-herders were still murdering each other with bronze knives! Thank God we’ve progressed beyond that…

    There is nothing wrong with progress, or Progressivism. I don’t understand why you take such umbrage at Crossroads, or its political stance. I also don’t understand why government programs are supposed to be so bad – other than when they’re inefficient (hello military procurement) and don’t work that well (hello, Justice Department full of Bush appointees).

    You might find yourself grateful for Medicare or Medicaid some day, or Social Security. I certainly benefited from Social Security and VA coverage of my college fees, and think they’re essential programs… it does infuriate me when government programs are badly run or over-politicized. But I don’t think government is evil, except when it spies on us, limits our freedom of speech, or drags us into a land war in Asia

    You are using these political labels to attack an institution that you find threatening, for some reason. Why this is, I don’t know.

    You see ultra-leftists running Crossroads? So what? The Republicans in Utah would sooner the clients of Crossroads starve, go hungry, or work at Deseret Industries.

    It’s a near-miracle that there are a few, a very few, socially conscious people in Utah willing to stand up and do the right thing. Most people in Utah are socially UNconscious when it comes to people “not like them,” such as immigrants and poor people that don’t happen to attend the right church. So thank God for Crossroads, I say.

    I’m glad they’ve survived this long, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for them in the future; times are tougher than ever for them.

    Also, I have no problem with their service to the immigrant population in Utah. Would you rather they starved? They could do that just as easily in Mexico or Honduras; they risk death to get here, to escape a life of even deeper poverty (and crime, and political corruption) in their home countries.

    Whatever happened to “I lift my lamp beside the golden door?” Oh, right, they broke the law to come here, work, educate themselves and their children, and pay taxes. That counts for nothing, because LAW-BREAKERS will always be LAW-BREAKERS, I suppose. At least, for the ones that actually ARE illegals, and not all the other legal immigrants helped by Crossroads and similar social service agencies.

    That kind of attitude makes me wish for a really big amnesty program, just to see the carnival of outrage sure to come from “the ultra-rightists” that will be ruining running the House of Representatives and taking orders from FOXNews and their corporate masters.

    I see an ultra-rightist half-term ex-Governor reality-show maven getting ready to run for President in 2 years, and I think that’s far more terrifying than an underfunded group of do-gooders trying to make life a little more fair for disenfranchised poor people.

    I also think “ultra-rightists” (whoever they are) are wrong to criticize government anti-poverty programs. I think ultra-rightists are the stooges of Big Business, who successfully bought the next Congress by riling up ultra-rightists all over the country into voting against their own economic interests. The Tea Party very quickly became a wholly-owned subsidiary of FOXNews, Koch Industries, the Grand Obstructionist Party, and the corporations that funded the US Chamber of Commerce’s political ads.

    I think ultra-rightists are a much more serious threat to democracy, the economy, and the common good of this country and the entire world than any group of “leftists” or “socialists” handing out soup and soap down at the shelter.

    Social justice is certainly not socialism, the failed political system to which Cuba, North Korea, and China still cling. In the case of China, their economic system gets more robust the more they quietly abandon socialism for a kind of state-run capitalism. Contrasted with the economies of the other two states and it’s clear that socialism isn’t the path to prosperity for most workers… but the social programs in Europe (probably with the exception of Britain) certainly benefit more citizens than most.

    And what about that socialistic universal health care the Europeans have? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we really did have the greatest health care system in the world, instead of the greatest market for health care providers and insurance companies to run as they see fit?

    But that’s another blog post. Thanks for coming by again.

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