Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tell DHS: No No-match Letters for Immigration Enforcement

DHS is proposing using Social Security "no-match" letters for immigration enforcement. Every year, employers report their employees' Social Security numbers to the government as part of the process of paying their payroll taxes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) checks those numbers against their database; if they don't match, a so-called "no-match" letter is sent by SSA to the employer.

That works well enough when the issue is just checking the accuracy of Social Security's records. But now DHS is proposing to use this system for something far more critical -- identifying whether a worker is in this country legally. And the Social Security database just isn't accurate enough to be used reliably for that purpose.

Why isn't it? The Inspector General of the Social Security Administration estimates that there are more than 17 million errors in the database -- each of which would trigger a "no-match" letter. And more than 70% of those errors are in the records of legal, native-born American workers.

If you're one of those workers, when the "no-match" letter arrives, it's up to you and your employer -- not DHS or Social Security -- to resolve the "discrepancy". And if you can't get it resolved in time, your employer is required to fire you or risk significant penalties.

If DHS goes forward with this plan, it would cause thousands of people to be fired on an unverified hunch that an error in a database in Washington means that you're not a legal, authorized worker.

The Department of Homeland Security needs to hear from you that this is unacceptable. You can send a comment to them just by clicking this link:

No comments: