New Immigration Rules on HorizonCED Magazine October 2007
Article Date: 10-01-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
New rules imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that would require businesses to reconsider their response to Social Security Administration "no-match" letters regarding undocumented workers have been temporarily halted.
Nevertheless, employers should not halt their efforts to ensure they are in compliance with immigration laws.
"It's certainly something every equipment dealer should keep on his radar screen," said Christian Klein, AED's vice president of government affairs. "Regardless of the status of this case, it's obvious the federal government is trying to show it is doing something on immigration. Make sure you're complying with the law."
On Aug. 31, a federal judge in California halted implementation of the new enforcement measures and stopped the Social Security Administration from sending out the first round of letters to employers. Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California set an Oct. 1 date for a hearing on the preliminary injunction.
The temporary restraining order was requested by a coalition of labor unions and immigrant rights groups, including the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Immigration Law Center.
"The Court finds that Plaintiffs have raised serious questions as to whether the new Department of Homeland Security rule is inconsistent with statute and beyond the statutory authority of the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration," wrote Chesney in the order signed onAug. 31.
According to a press release by the National Immigration Law Center, the groups charge that the rule "violates the law and workers' rights and imposes burdensome obligations on employers who receive SSA ‘no-match' letters that inform them of alleged discrepancies between employee records and the SSA database."
Currently employers who receive "no-match" rules are not required to take action. Under the new rules that were set to go into effect Sept. 14, an employer who receives notification or a "no-match" letter that an employee's Social Security number does not match federal records is required to check their own records and ask the employee to verify their Social Security information within 30 days.
If after 90 days neither the actions of the employer or employee correct the problem, employers would have three days to complete a new I-9 or employment eligibility verification form with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency. The Social Security number would be left off the form and the employee would have to present a document that contains a photograph in order to establish identity or both identity and employment authorization. Or, the employer may be required to fire the employee.
At the end of the process, the employer would be liable for civil and criminal violations of immigration law if it cannot confirm an employee's authorization to work in the U.S.
For more information, visit www.ice.gov, www.dhs.gov, or www.ssa.gov
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