Peoria company accused of releasing sensitive information, putting thousands of immigrants lives at risk

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Thousands of immigrants are finding themselves caught in the crossfire during a legal battle between two companies Thursday. Protesters said the legal dispute potentially put the livelihoods of those immigrants and minorities at risk.

The two companies are Libre by Nexus and RLI Insurance, a Peoria-based company.

Libre by Nexus is a company that helps undocumented immigrants pay their immigration bonds and helps them adjust to life outside of immigration jail.

Annese Jackson, Executive Managing Director of Americans Resisting Minority & Ethnic Discrimination in Chicago, attended a protest Thursday against RLI Insurance saying the insurance company publicly released sensitive information of more than 4,500 people.

“We have all of those people and anyone affected running scared for their lives,” Jackson said.

She said those that are afraid are clients of Libre by Nexus. Mike Donovan, Chief Executive Officer of Nexus Services, said RLI Insurance is one of its former vendors, selling surety bonds, who they’re now in a legal battle with.

“Libre by Nexus was forced by a court order to provide RLI Insurance with login credentials of our customers’ databases,” Donovan said. “RLI recklessly or intentionally exposed tens of thousands of immigrants to harm by publishing those login credentials.”

Jose Guzman, director of Soy Libre, attended Thursday’s protest with his wife and said releasing immigrant information and the user names and passwords to the Nexus database has his family worried about his safety.

“I’m scared for my life,” Guzman said. “My family’s scared for me to. I spent so much time fighting my case.”

His wife Liliana said the fear has trickled down to their children.

“My children can’t concentrate at school because they’re worried about what’s going to happen to daddy,” Liliana Cruz said. “They are U.S. citizens and we are here legally.”

During the protest, Guzman said he would like for RLI to destroy the released information, for them to take sensitivity training, for them to cease any litigation that can put sensitive information of minorities at risk, and for an official apology for the data breach.

Jackson said they spoke with the head of RLI’s legal department Wednesday and didn’t get satisfactory answers.

“They said they’re working on it,” Jackson said. “There was no promise to try to rectify the situation.”

Nexsus said they stand by their clients and will fight alongside with them.

“We do matter,” Cruz said. “We also have a right to be together and to have a home.”

RLI told WMBD they can’t comment on pending litigation.

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