A computer specialist in the Utah Department of Workforce Services is under investigation in the compiling and distributing of a list of 1,300 Utahns purported to be in the country illegally.Teresa Bassett, 58, is one of two state employees whom authorities have focused on, a government source confirmed.
Since April, Latinos have been the victims of seven robberies or attacks in Port Richmond that police have classified as bias crimes. That compares with one hate crime during the same time period last year.
Arrests have been made in three of the cases. In one, a grand jury indicted four teenagers on multiple felony charges for a brutal April 5 beating but declined to include the hate-crime charges despite a police report alleging they said, “You are a [expletive] Mexican, we are going to beat you up.”
The numbers reflect a spike in bias-crime figures across Staten Island—21 so far this year, compared with nine during the same period last year—but authorities say that only in Port Richmond are all the victims Latino and the attacks close in vicinity to one another.
Had Arizona’s governor not just signed the toughest law against illegal immigrants in the nation, the killing of Juan Varela probably would have been written off as just a tragic neighborhood dispute.
The 44-year-old U.S. citizen was watering chile plants in his front yard when a neighbor confronted him and shot him to death, according to police documents.
Varela’s brother, Antonio, told police that the neighbor, Gary Kelley, who is white, called Juan Varela by an ethnic slur and said he had to “go back to Mexico” now that Gov. Jan Brewer had signed SB 1070. The family campaigned to publicize the death, culminating with the county prosecutor’s decision last month to add a hate-crime allegation to the second-degree murder charges filed against Kelley.