Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bush Nixing Rule Issued in August to Punish Employers hiring Illegal Immigrants

Readers, What are your thoughts? What are the Implications?

The New York Times is reporting:

The Bush administration will suspend its legal defense of a new rule issued in August to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, conceding a hard-fought opening round in a court battle over a central measure in its strategy to curb illegal immigration, according to government papers filed late Friday in federal court.

Instead, the administration plans to revise the rule to try to meet concerns raised by a federal judge and issue it again by late March, hoping to pass court scrutiny on the second try. The rule would have forced employers to fire workers within 90 days if their Social Security information could not be verified.

The government’s proposal was a response to an indefinite delay to the rule ordered Oct. 10 by the judge, Charles R. Breyer of Federal District Court in San Francisco. Judge Breyer found that the government had failed to follow proper procedures in issuing the rule and that it should have completed a survey of its impact on small business. He also found that the Social Security database the government would use to verify workers’ status was full of errors, so the rule could lead to the dismissal of many thousands of workers who were American citizens or legal immigrants.

In a four-page motion filed Friday, the government, without acknowledging any flaws in the original rule, asked Judge Breyer to suspend the case so the Department of Homeland Security could rewrite the rule and conduct the small-business survey, which it expects to do by March 24. The government said that it wanted to “prevent the waste of judicial resources” and that it was confident the amended rule would “fully address the court’s concerns.”
The rule laid out procedures for employers to follow after receiving a notice from the Social Security Administration, known as a no-match letter, advising that an employee’s identity information did not match the agency’s records.

The employer would have had to fire an employee who could not provide verifiable information within 90 days, or face the risk of prosecution for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Those immigrants often present fake Social Security numbers when applying for jobs.

Judge Breyer also stopped Social Security from sending out about 141,000 no-match letters, covering more than eight million workers, which contained instructions from Homeland Security about the rule. Social Security sends the letters to clarify workers’ information so it can correctly credit taxes deducted from their wages.

Some businesses welcomed the rule because it clarified what they had to do to avoid immigration raids. But the labor unions cited a report from the inspector general of the Social Security Administration finding that 12.7 million of the records of United States citizens in the agency’s database contained errors that could lead to them being fired.


Liquidmicro said...

My company had received a no match letter 5 or 6 years age for an employee I had. Once received, I confronted the employee and gave him a copy of the letter and is stated he had an invalid SS#. I asked him to bring in his SS card the next day to verify we had the correct information on it, matching number and correct name. He never came back the next day, and to this day I know not where he is and can only assume that he was an 'Illegal Immigrant' because he never came back.

As in most cases, he may have just moved n to either another job here in Sacramento, or to another city and job all together.

Administration to modify crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON | The Bush administration will modify its planned crackdown on U.S. companies that employ illegal immigrants.

In papers filed in San Francisco late Friday afternoon, Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bucholtz asked U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer to delay hearing a lawsuit brought by major American labor, business and farm organizations until the new strategy is completed.

The paperwork said that the Homeland Security Department was making unspecified changes to its plan to pressure employers to fire as many as 8.7 million workers with suspect Social Security numbers.

A Homeland Security spokesman declined to comment, but court papers asked the judge to delay the case until March 24, or until a new program is ready.

On Oct. 10, Breyer barred the government from mailing Social Security “no-match” letters to 140,000 U.S. employers, citing serious legal questions about requiring companies to resolve questions about their employees’ identities, fire them within 90 days or else face potential fines and criminal prosecution.

President Bush made the initiative a priority in August after the Senate killed his proposed overhaul of immigration laws. In issuing a preliminary injunction, however, the judge cited plaintiffs’ arguments that the Social Security Administration database includes so many errors that using it to enforce immigration laws would cause “staggering” disruptions at workplaces and discriminate against tens of thousands of legal workers. The judge also said that the government failed to weigh the cost of the new regulation on small businesses as required.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lucas Guttentag, who argued the case with plaintiffs including the AFL-CIO, said, “DHS should finally abandon this illegal approach instead of repeating the same mistake.”

Liquidmicro said...

Rush to verify legal status of hires expected
Jan. 1 deadline looms for sanctions law; firms await ruling on challenge

How about this in regards to employers, i.e. business/corporations trying to crash the E-Verify system just so they can keep exploiting 'Illegal Immigrants' and make a profit.

This is truly shameful on the part of Businesses. One can only hope that they all go out of business. I wish they would have these laws in CA, would lessen my competition for work all together, and increase my profits back to where they use to be. Now if only they would crack down on Workers Comp, work place safety issues, and Unlicensed Contractors, that would get rid of both, 'Illegal Immigrants' by shutting down the businesses that employ them and shutting down the business for 'Illegal' operations. Would be a win win all around.

ultima said...

Instead of citing the government's failure to consider the cost to small business, Judge Breyer should have considered the much larger costs to the rule of law by delaying this vital program. This may be the first time in history that a judge ruled in favor of not enforcing the law rather than assuring that it is enforced.

Both the cost to small businesses and the errors in the ss data base are red herrings. How can the cost to small business be very substantial? After all the employer merely needs to attach his own form letter, in English or Spanish, stating that the individual has 90 days to correct the error. A copy of the federal letter could also be attached. This is simple and inexpensive. The flaw is that the 90 day wait allows the employee to move on to another job and get another 90 day reprieve at the new employer. What is missing is the involvement of ICE in this process so that this can't happen.

It seems to me if folks are the victim of a system error, that error could easily be corrected within a week by submitting certified copies of the relevant documents. At least taking that action should delay any further steps the employer might otherwise have to take. Errors in the system should be corrected anyway and this is a good way to get on with that process. The judge is clearly up in the night. Everyone who is interested in border security should see this as one of the few effective tools available to identify miscreants in our labor force. We just need ICE and the judge to get with the program.

Actually I don't believe the rule punishes employers. It merely requires them to discharge any illegal employees. In my opinion, there should be some penalty for employers who have proven illegals on their payrolls. These guys were n't born yesterday. They should know a suspected illegal when they see one and ping the system to check for a ssn mismatch without having to wait for the government to send them a letter. This is something every employer should do automatically beginning with every new employee and then ultimately extending it to all employees.

Those in favor of penalizing employees who hire illegals should be incensed by this judge's ruling.

patriot said...

I whole heartedly agree with you, Ultima. How can any loyal citizen object to the no-match letters and the e-verify system when there is clearly a way to fix bad SS numbers within 90 days and everyone will be checked currently employed and future employees.

Bob said...

Bush never met an illegal Mexican he didn't like. Nothing new there.

patriot said...

I heard on tv that our data base records of legitimate SS numbers matching with the rightful citizen of that number is 93% accurate. That is a high degree of accuracy. The other 7% have 90 days to be corrected. It is time we cleaned up our SS data base anyway. Send out the no match letters. No more lame excuses!

patriot said...

I would be willing to bet that out of the 7% mismatched SS numbers in our SS data base that a good 5% of them are illegal aliens. I laugh when the pro-illegals try to claim that it will put U.S. citizens out of work. 2% isn't a significant number and these can be corrected within 90 days.

pjgoober said...

Bob writes: "Bush never met an illegal Mexican he didn't like. Nothing new there."

From Bush's history with pushing amnesty I can see why you say that, but you are ignoring current events. The Bush administration has upped enforcement after the repeated failure of amnesty.

Bush withdrew the case from court because it had no chance with the Clinton appointed judge. He could have kept beating against the brick wall, but instead wisely decided to modify the proposal, to still salvage something out of the concept of checking SS numbers.

ultima said...

WE obviously need a law that requires DHS to issue these letters immediately and for ICE to do the processing at the largest offenders so that the miscreants are not allowed to escape identification, apprehension, detention and deportation.

The following is certain to poison the well of relations with the Hispanic community:

"Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) proposed a provision to the Commerce,Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (HR 3093, S. 1745) that would prevent the EEOC from legal attacks on employers like the Salvation Army who require English on the job. The full Senate passed the bill--with the Alexander provision. The House also
greed to the amendment, but later withdrew support after the
Hispanic Caucus threatened to stonewall other House bills unless
the provision was removed. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed, saying the House will not vote on the bill until the English language provision is terminated."

We need letters and faxes, lots and lots of letters to the Hispanic caucus members and Pelosi to let them know how we feel about this and how this will widen the chasm between loyal Americans and partisan Hispanics.

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