December 09, 2008

IPC Applauds Court Decision to Stick to Schedule in SSA No Match Regulation Litigation

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) issued this press release on December 8, 2008 regarding the status of the Social Security Administration’s “No Match” letters

Washington, D.C.-A federal judge in San Francisco has denied a government request to quickly issue a final decision on whether the Bush Administration may implement its new Social Security Administration (SSA) “no match” rules. The lawsuit brought by labor unions and employers seeking to block the rule will move forward under a standard schedule, and a decision will not come until late February or March of 2009.

“We applaud Judge Breyer for not bowing to the Bush Administration’s political pressure to rush a decision. There is too much at stake to hurry the process. By sticking to a standard court schedule the judge has ensured that he will take all evidence and arguments into careful consideration before issuing a decision that could have a harmful impact on millions of U.S. workers,” stated Angela Kelley, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. “The Obama Administration will also have the opportunity to consider whether this is a practical and cost-effective program to pursue.”

In October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an administrative rule setting new procedures for employers who receive “no match” letters from the SSA. If implemented, employers who do not follow the new rules could face increased penalties for hiring unauthorized workers. Ever since the rule was first issued in 2007, the courts have blocked its implementation.

Immigrant, business, and labor advocates have argued the new attempts to use the “no match” program–an SSA program used to help U.S. workers track earnings and receive benefits–as an immigration enforcement tool, is a purpose for which the program is ill equipped.

Implementation of the new rule would also have a potentially devastating impact on the economy. As unemployment numbers continue to rise, the “no match” rule could result in as many as 165,000 U.S. citizens and legal workers losing their jobs and could cost employers over $1 billion per year according to an April 2008 study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

IPC has produced a comprehensive analysis of the SSA No Match program and the DHS rule. The Social Security Administration No Match Program: Inefficient, Ineffective, and Costly.